Wednesday, September 21, 2022
- Buoy 238 (Barbers Pt)/Buoy 239 (Lani): Seas were 3.9 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 1.0 ft @ 19.1 secs from 186 degrees. Water temp 81.1 degs (Barbers Pt), 81.1 (Pearl Harbor 233), 81.5 (Lani 239).
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.0 ft @ 11.1 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 11.3 secs from 321 degrees. Water temp 80.4 degs.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 3.2 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 13.9 secs from 188 degrees. Wind northwest at 12-14 kts. Water temperature 70.7 degs, 71.2 (Topanga 103), 69.1 degs (Long Beach 215), 70.7 (Oceanside Offshore 045), 69.6 (Del Mar 153), 70.7 (Torrey Pines Outer 155). At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 3.1 ft @ 15.0 secs from 218 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.7 ft @ 13.5 secs from 199 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 1.7 ft @ 15.2 secs from 189 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) this buoy was down.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 4.6 ft @ 13.7 secs with swell 2.2 ft @ 13.9 secs from 199 degrees. Wind at buoy 46012 was east at 4 kts. Water temp 55.4 degs (Pt Reyes 029), 56.5 (Pt Reyes 46013), 59.4 (46026), 60.3 (SF Bar 142), 60.8 (Pt Santa Cruz 254) and 62.6 (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 Wednesday (9/21) North and Central CA had set waves at waist high coming from the northwest and reasonably lined up but also weak and soft but with clean conditions. Protected breaks were flat to thigh high and soft and clean. At Santa Cruz surf was waist high and warbled due mostly to being flooded by tide with intermixed windswell related warble. In Southern California/Ventura waves were waist high and lined up and real clean with decent form but very soft and inconsistent. Central Orange County had sets at head high to 1 ft overhead and lined up coming from the south and soft and crumbled with light northwest wind but mostly cleanish conditions. South Orange County's best summertime breaks had sets at head high and somewhat lined up with decent form but a bit wonky from northwest windswell intermixed with otherwise clean surface conditions. North San Diego had sets at waist high and somewhat lined up with good form but very soft and with clean conditions. Hawaii's North Shore had some sets at waist to chest high at top spots and fairly clean with some minimal northwest windswell intermixed. The South Shore had sets at waist high and lined up and clean with good form but weak. The East Shore was flat and chopped from moderate east trades.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Wednesday (9/21) Hawaii was getting some minimal background swell on the North Shore. California was getting the tail end of swell from a gale that developed in the Central South Pacific moving to the Southeast Pacific Thurs-Fri (9/9) with 28 ft seas building to 33 ft aimed somewhat to the northeast. Hawaii is also poised to be getting the leading edge of swell from a gale that developed under New Zealand on Wed (9/14) with 38 ft sea aimed northeast. That swell to eventually reach California too. And secondary fetch from that system developed over the Central South Pacific Sat-Sun (9/18) with up to 28 ft seas aimed northeast. Swell from that system is radiating towards CA and HI. And so summer continues. And perhaps another weak gale is to develop in the deep Central South Pacific on Thurs (9/22) with seas briefly to 33 ft aimed mostly east then fading and moving to the Southeast Pacific Mon-Tues (9/27) with seas in the 28-30 ft range aimed northeast. Longer term it looks like the South Pacific is fading and the North is trying to wake up, but not there yet.
See all the details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Wednesday (9/21) no real swell was in the water relative to Hawaii or the US West Coast.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored at this time.
California Nearshore Forecast
- Thurs AM (9/22) weak high pressure starts developing with northwest winds 10 kts for North CA and 10-15 kts for Central CA early. Northwest winds build in the afternoon to 15 kts north of the Golden Gate and 15-20 kts south of there. No real windswell forecast. No precip forecast.
- Fri AM (9/23) weak high pressure holds control with northwest winds 15 kts for all of North and Central CA continuing in the afternoon.
- Sat AM (9/24) the gradient fades over North CA with northwest winds 15-20 kts for North CA and northwest 10 kts for Central CA. The gradient lifts north in the afternoon with northwest winds 15-20 kts limited to Cape Mendocino with northwest winds 10 kts for south of there. Low odds of any rideable windswell resulting.
- Sun AM (9/25) northwest winds to be 15 kts for Cape Mendocino early and 10 kts south of there over the remainder of North CA and all of Central CA early continuing in the afternoon. No windswell expected.
- Mon AM (9/26) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts early for Cape Mendocino and 10 kts for the rest of North CA and 15 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 10 kts for North CA and 15 kts for all of Central CA. No windswell production forecast.
- Tues AM (9/27) northwest winds to be 15 kts for all of North and Central CA and up to 20 kts south of Monterey Bay. In the afternoon northwest winds to be 15 kts for North Can and 20 kts for Central CA. Low odds of some small short period windswell later at exposed breaks.
- Wed AM (9/28) northwest winds to be 15 kts for North Ca early and 20 kts for Central CA south of Monterey Bay . Small short period junky windswell production at best.
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.
Freezing level for the Tioga Pass Road is 9,000 ft today and is forecast rising to about 12.500 ft on 9/22 holding near 13,000 ft beyond.
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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 Wednesday (9/21) the influential southern branch of the jetstream was ridging south under New Zealand pushing over Antarctic Ice but weak still offering no support for gale production. But east of there over the extreme Southeast Pacific the jetstream was lifting northeast but with winds only 90 kts likely not offering any support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours that trough in the Southeast Pacific is forecast to push east offering nothing. The ridge over the Southwest Pacific is to weaken some and by Fri (9/23) it's to start building in velocity at 130 kts running zonal at 57S just southeast of New Zealand perhaps starting to offer some fuel for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting late Sat (9/25) a legitimate trough is to develop from it over the Central South Pacific with winds to 120 kts offering some support for gale development. That trough is to lift northeast into Mon (9/26) over the far Southeast Pacific still providing support for gale development. But in the west under New Zealand another ridge is to set up pushing into Antarctica offering no support for gale development and pushing east longterm.
Tertiary swell from a gale that formed over the Southeast Pacific with fetch aimed northeast targeting California is hitting California (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below). And swell from another gale that formed under New Zealand is starting to hit Hawaii eventually reaching CA (see Another New Zealand Gale below). And more swell from secondary fetch under New Zealand is tracking northeast (see Secondary New Zealand Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Thurs AM (9/22) a small gale is to develop just north of the Ross Ice Shelf south of New Zealand with 45 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 61.5S 165.7EW aimed east-northeast. In the evening fetch is to track east at 40 kts with seas 31 ft at 60.75S 174.5W aimed east. On Fri AM (9/23) the gale is to push east and fade with 35 kts southwest winds and sea fading from 23 ft offering nothing. Low odds of any swell resulting.
Another Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale started developing southwest of New Zealand just off the Ross Ice Shelf on Thurs AM (9/8) producing southwest winds at 40 kts over a solid area aimed northeast with seas building from 27 ft at 59S 166W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were lifting northeast fast at 35-40 kts with seas 27-28 ft at 58.25S 150W aimed northeast. The gale was building Fri AM (9/9) with a broad area of 40-50 kt southwest winds over the Southeast Pacific with seas to 29 ft at 55.5S 134W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was moving over the far Southeast Pacific and almost out of the Southern CA swell window with 40-45 kt southwest winds and seas 33 ft at 58S 120W aimed northeast. Fetch was almost east of the SCal swell window on Sat AM (9/10) with 45 kts southwest winds and seas fading from 28-30 ft at 60S 118W aimed northeast. The gale is was east of the SCal swell window beyond. Something to monitor.
Varying degrees of secondary fetch continued over the far Southeast Pacific just barely in the SCal swell window on Sun AM (9/11) with seas 37 ft at 58S 123.5W aimed east. That fetch is to be east of the SCal swell window in the evening. And mid Mon (9/12) another small fetch is to produce 32 ft seas at 52.25S 121.5W east-northeast briefly. More small swell to result. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Swell fading Wed (9/21) from 1.8 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating on Thurs (9/22) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 196 degrees moving to 190 degrees
North CA: Swell fading Wed (9/21) from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating on Thurs (9/22) from 1.6 ft @ 14 secs early (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees moving to 187 degrees
Another New Zealand Gale
A primer gale was developing under New Zealand on Tues AM (9/13) producing 35-40 kt southwest winds with seas building from 25 ft over a small area at 59S 176E aimed northeast. Fetch was fading in the evening from 35-40 kts over a small area aimed northeast with seas fading from 28 ft at 61S 172W impacting the Ross Ice Shelf but serving to rough up the oceans surface there. Then on Wed AM (9/14) the main event developed with a broad area of southwest winds building to 45-50 kts under New Zealand with seas 35 ft at 59.25S 171.75E aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds were fading from 40-45 kts but over still decent sized area aimed northeast with seas 38 ft at 57.5S 175.75E aimed northeast. On Thurs AM (9/15) fetch was fading while pushing northeast from 30-35 kts from the southwest with seas fading from 34 ft at 55S 173W. Fetch dissipated in the evening with seas fading from 27 ft at 55S 154W aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Wed (9/21) building to 1.5 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Thurs (9/22) to 1.8 ft @ 16-17 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (9/23) at 1.8 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5-3.0 ft). Dribbles on Sat (9/24) fading from 1.4 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 192-194 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/23) building to 1.2 ft @ 19 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building slowly Sat (9/24) to 1.4 ft @ 17-18 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell steady on Sun (9/25) at 2.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues Mon (9/26) at 2.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/27) from 2.0 ft @ 15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Wed (9/28) fading from 1.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (9/29) fading from 1.8 ft @ 14 secs (2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 213-214 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Fri (9/23) building to 1.3 ft @ 19-20 secs later (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell building slowly Sat (9/24) to 2.0 ft @ 17-18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell steady on Sun (9/25) at 2.1 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5 ft). Swell continues Mon (9/26) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (9/27) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell continues on Wed (9/28) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Residuals on Thurs (9/29) fading from 2.0 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 211-212 degrees
Secondary New Zealand Gale
A secondary fetch developed under New Zealand on Fri AM (9/16) lifting northeast with winds 40-45 kts over a broad area and seas 29-30 ft just north of the Ross Ice Shelf at 61.25S 178E aimed northeast. In the evening fetch is to push northeast at 40 kts with seas 33 ft at 58.75S 170W aimed northeast. Fetch is to continue Sat AM (9/17) at 40 kts from the southwest with seas 29 ft at 58S 158.25W over a decent sized area. Fetch is to hold coverage in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 27 ft at 54.75S 153.25W aimed northeast. On Sun AM (9/18) fetch is to be over the Southeast Pacific fading from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 25 ft at 56S 139.25W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.
Oahu: Expect swell arrival on Sat (9/24) building to 1.2 ft @ 16 secs later (2.0 ft). Swell continues on Sun (9/25) at 1.6 ft @ 15 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell dissipating Mon (9/26) from 1.3 ft @ 13-14 secs early (1.5-2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190-192 degrees
Southern CA: Swell to be merged with Another New Zealand Gale swell (see above).
North CA: Swell to be merged with Another New Zealand Gale swell (see above).
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.
Beyond 72 hours another gale is to develop Sun PM (9/25) over the Southeast Pacific with 35-40 kts southwest winds and seas building from 26 ft at 48S 142W aimed northeast. Fetch to continue Mon AM (9/26) at 40-45 kts from the southwest over a decent sized area with 27 ft seas at 46S 138W aimed northeast. In the evening southwest winds to be pushing east at 40-45 kts on the edge of the SCal swell window with seas 29 ft at 46S 132W aimed northeast. On Tues AM (9/27) fetch is to be fading from 45 kts over a tiny area and seas fading from 27 ft at 48S 129W aimed northeast. The gael to fade from there. Something to monitor.
Maybe another small gale to develop in the Southeast Pacific on Wed AM (9/28) with 31 ft seas at 53S 143W aimed northeast.
Upwelling Phase Underway
Models Suggesting this to be the Final La Nina Surge
Cool subsurface water volume peaked under the equatorial Pacific on 10/15/21, faded in May and June 2022, but is stating to rebuild in late July. A Kelvin Wave traversed the equatorial Pacific May-June, but was discharged by late July. The SOI appears to be past its peak. La Nina conditions are projected reinforcing in Nino3.4 in Fall then fading by Winter turning neutral. Overall cool water volume over the entire equatorial Pacific is to be fading steadily from here forward. The outlook is turning more optimistic.
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. But cold water returned in July 2021 and a second pulse of La Nina developed through the Winter of 2022 and is continuing today, though possibly weaker with its foundation appearing to be in decline.
LONG-RANGE PACIFIC STORM AND SWELL GENERATION POTENTIAL FORECAST
Fall/Winter 2022 = 4.0 (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 was assumed that the moderate La Nina from the Winter of 2020/2021 was on the wane and that a return to neutral ENSO state would set up over the Pacific Basin through the summer of 2021. But La Nina made a strong return by the end of Sept much like what the CFS model suggested would happen and a full double dip pattern took hold through the Winter of 21/22. But a quick fade is forecast as we move into late December 2022 with the CFS predicting a return to a neutral wind anomaly pattern and the low pressure bias making headway in to the KWGA in early Jan. Still it will take some time for the atmosphere to fully respond, resulting in a less than normal swell production forecast especially for Fall into early Winter 2022. But by later in Jan or early Feb 2023 a return to a more normal pattern might take hold. As a result a significantly reduced number of storm days and storm intensity is expected Oct 22-Jan 23, resulting in a below normal level of swells, with swell being below normal duration and period. But by Feb 2023, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start improving as La Nina fades out. 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 Jan 2023. The swell pattern will be below normal before Jan and above normal after Jan 23 with the average of the two being 'normal'. Of course this is all highly speculative at this early date.
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 (9/20) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific and strong east over the Central Pacific and strong east over the KWGA. Anomalies were neutral over the East equatorial Pacific and weak east over the Central Pacific and moderate 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): (9/21) East anomalies were moderate over the dateline and west anomalies were filling the area west of the dateline. The 7 day forecast calls for west anomalies slowly backtracking over the West KWGA through 9/25 while east anomalies start getting better coverage and then east anomalies filling the KWGA on 9/26 while building to strong status holding through the end of the model run on 9/28.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
- MJO/WWB/Wind Projections:
OLR Models: (9/20) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today over the KWGA. The statistical model indicates a neutral MJO holding over the KWGA for the next 15 days. The dynamic model suggests a neutral MJO signal holding for the next 10 days then turning weakly Active on day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (9/21) The statistical model depicts the Active signal was very weak over the Maritime Continent today and is to retrograde west over the East Indian Ocean 15 days out at modest status. The dynamic model suggest the Active Phase holding weakly over the Maritime Continent for the next 15 days.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (9/21) A modest Active MJO signal (wet air) was modeled over the West KWGA today with an Inactive MJO (dry air) over the East Pacific. The forecast depicts the Active Phase moving steadily east over the KWGA then into the Central Pacific and moving into Central America on 10/26. An Inactive Phase (dry air) is to start building over the over KWGA on 10/16 pushing east moderately filling the equatorial Pacific at the end of the model run on 10/31.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/20) A neutral MJO signal was indicated today with weak west anomalies filling 70% of the KWGA. The forecast calls for a neutral MJO signal for the next month but with weak west anomalies continuing while pushing east through 9/27. After that east anomalies to develop on 9/28 building steadily to moderate if not strong status focused at 170E from 10/4 through the end of the model run on 10/18.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (9/21) - using the 5th ensemble member - the mean of the 4 individual members which are all from the 00Z run - 1 run per day):
Today a weak pulse of the Active Phase was all but gone over KWGA with weak west anomalies holding over most of the West KWGA. West anomalies to hold through 9/27. After that a weak pulse of the Inactive Phase is to follow 9/23-10/12 with weak east anomalies in control of the KWGA. Then on 10/8 a coherent Active Phase of the MJO is to start pushing through the KWGA in earnest and in control through the end of the model run on 12/19 with west anomalies moving from the Maritime Continent 10/10 bleeding east to about the dateline on 10/31 and building more filling the KWGA on 11/8 and building beyond. This would be a huge change if it develops as forecast. the key date is 10/31 for the demise of east anomalies and presumably La Nina. The low pass filter indicates a high pressure bias with 2 contour lines centered at 180W with its western perimeter at 155E today. The second contour is to build into October then collapse on 12/5 with the western edge of the high pressure bias retrograding west to 145E at 10/15 then possibly starting to ease east from there to 160E at the end of the model run. A broad double contour low pressure bias is established centered over the West Maritime Continent at 90E with it's leading edge at 130E today but is forecast retrograding to 125E on 10/10 then starting to ease east slightly at the end of the model run. Of note, east anomalies which are and have been centered at 180W and are to continue to have some solid influence over the KWGA into early Oct, then dissipate completely by 10/31 (previously 10/19) with west anomalies taking over the KWGA beyond. This would be a huge step forward, if it develops.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (9/21) Today in the far West Pacific the 29 degree isotherm was gone, previously at 171E. The 28 deg isotherm line was steady at 180W. The 26 degree isotherm was steady at 146W today. The 24 deg isotherm had backtracked from Ecuador to 133W and was holding at 130W today. Anomaly wise, warm anomalies +2 deg C were in a pocket in the far West Pacific down 150m with it's leading edge stuck at 155W. A pocket of cool anomalies at -2 degs C were centered at 137W and filling the area from 160W and points east of there. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 9/15 indicates the same broad area of warm anomalies in the west pushing east to 155W and far warmer. A cool pocket was filling the area east of 155W and reaching the surface and far cooler. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (9/15) Sea heights were stable but negative over the East Equatorial Pacific. A broad pocket of positive anomalies were over the equator in the far West Pacific reaching east to only 165E. A pocket of negative anomalies were stable in coverage from Ecuador to 155W with one broad core at -15 cms between 110W-145W. Per the Upper Ocean Heat Anomaly Histogram cool anomalies were positioned in the Central Equatorial Pacific between 157W to 100W and stationary if not solidifying their coverage. A cool cycle is underway. It is already longer in duration than the previous cool pulse. If something doesn't change soon, La Nina will last through the Winter and the models will all be wrong.
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: (9/20) The latest images depict a broad generic pool of cool water extending west from Chile and Peru to the dateline and filling well south of the equator. The coolest water was on the equator between 95W-135W. An area of warm water was present on the equator from Ecuador west to 140W but mostly just north of the equator starting at 2N. A weak area of warm water was present north of the equator (15 deg N) extending off mainland Mexico to 145W. Overall this indicates the late stages of La Nina.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (9/20): A solid line of warm anomalies were on the equator between Ecuador to 130W and building. The trend was towards warming.
Hi-res Overview: (9/20) Persistent cool waters cover a large area from Ecuador to 160E on and south of the equator from South America down at 20S with the coolest waters between 90W to 135W on the equator. Warmer than normal waters were on the equator in the east aligned in a thin stream from Ecuador to 110W starting on the equator and points north of there. La Nina remains in control over the East Equatorial Pacific and the density and intensity of the cooling appears to be building some on the equator with warm water from a previous Kelvin Wave breaking up over the East equatorial Pacific.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/21) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs compared to official sources). Today's temps were falling at -1.498 degs today and have been falling since 9/14 after being in the -1.0 range since 7/29. Temp were down on 7/20 to -1.6 degs. Previously temps were stable near -1.4 degrees 6/12 through 7/27. Peaks in that time frame were -1.189 (7/7), -1.534 (7/5). Previously temps were at -1.822 on 6/9 after being up to -1.506 (5/21) and that after hovering around -2.0 degs since 4/21/22. Prior to that temps were fading after peaking at +0.760 on 3/18. Temps had been moving upwards since 2/20, and beat a previous high of -0.650 degs on 1/9 and that after being down at -1.871 on 1/3/22 and -1.954 on 12/18/21, the lowest this year so far. Previously temps dropped on 11/24/21 at -1.700, the lowest in months after previously toggling steady at about -0.6 degs from mid Aug to Oct 6, then falling from there. That year temps bottomed out at -2.138 on 8/13/20. The longterm trend has been steadily downward.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (9/21) (These temps are biased high by about 0.2 degs). Today's temps were steady if not rising slightly at -0.841 and have been in the -1.0 range since 8/16. Temps had fallen since 7/15 reaching La Nina threshold on 7/27 after being more or less steady the previous 3 weeks peaking at -0.25 on 7/14 and -0.275 on 7/5. Previously temps had been on an upward trend since 5/15/22 rising to -0.414 degs (6/19) and -0.493 on 6/9, the first reading above La Nina threshold values since Sept 2021. Temps were down to -0.929 (5/2/22) and that after rising to a peak at -0.704 on 3/27 and had been on a gentle rising trend since falling to -1.012 on 3/8. Previously temps were rising slightly to -0.505 on 2/2 and that after reaching a peak low of -1.096 on 1/3/22 beating the previous low of -1.080 on 11/2/21, the lowest in a year. Prior to that temps had been in a freefall starting from the -0.175 range in early Sept/21. Before that temps peaked up at 7/1/21 +0.332, the highest in a year. Temps previously had been steady near -0.222 since early March 2021. Temps bottomed out at -1.654 on 11/3/2020.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data
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 -1.05 degs in Aug.
Forecast (9/20) - Temps are to be falling from about -1.0 degs in Sept to -1.25 degs in Nov then start a quick rise beyond and reaching above the La Nina threshold in Feb 2023 and up to +0.50 degs in May and heading up from there presumably. This model suggests we are going to steadily transition towards ENSO neutral in Dec. The PDF Corrected forecast suggests temps bottomed out at -1.00 in mid Aug and are to hold unchanged into Nov then starting a steady upward climb rising above La Nina threshold in Feb and rising from there forward to +0.50 degs in April/May. According to this version of the model we will hold in weak La Nina conditions through Fall before starting a trend towards neutrality in Dec with momentum towards El Nino in Spring. The surface temp coverage model suggests a temps holding steady through Nov. then a steady erosion of the coldest waters south of Nino3.4 (down at 20S) is to begin. By Dec a clear discharge of La Nina is to begin with near neutral temps prevailing over the entire equatorial Pacific and turning fully neutral in Feb and beyond. The greater equatorial Pacific cool signature looks to hold through mid-Oct then quickly dissolving beyond.
IRI Consensus Plume: The September 19, 2022 Plume depicts temps are -0.957 degs today. Temps to hold in Oct at -0.925 then are to warm to the La Nina threshold at -0.658 in Dec and -0.445 in Jan rising to +0.172 in May. This model suggests a continuation of minimal La Nina temps through early Dec then transitioning to ENSO neutral. This model is in line with the CFS model.
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 (9/9) the Daily Index was falling at +14.98. Previous peaks were at +33.57 (5/24), +40.77 (5/10), +31.44 (4/27), +31.80 (4/6), +27.33 (1/31) and +46.71 (12/26). The trend has been solidly positive but starting in July weakness is starting to take hold. Previous other notable peaks were +30.98 (11/26), +36.90 (9/28), +27.75 ( 9/13) and +37.86 (7/15).
The 30 day average was rising at +15.93 after falling 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 rising some at +11.54 previously at +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 suggest La Nina is returning.
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