Monday, October 30, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.5 ft @ 11.8 secs with local north windswell 3.3 ft @ 9.5 secs from 285 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.8 ft @ 15.9 secs with Extratropical storm swell 1.8 ft @ 15.5 secs from 269 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 10-12 kts. Water temperature 67.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 2.0 ft @ 15.1 secs from 259 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 2.4 ft @ 13.7 secs from 259 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.1 ft @ 13.6 secs from 228 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 3.3 ft @ 16.3 secs from 276 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 10.1 ft @ 15.4 secs with Extratropical storm swell fading from 4.9 ft @ 14.8 secs from 308 degrees with windswell intermixed. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 18-21 kts. Water temp 56.8 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Monday (10/30) in North and Central CA remnant Extratropical storm swell was still hitting in the 2-3 ft overhead range but mostly blow to bits by northwest wind and whitecaps. Protected breaks were chest to maybe head high and pretty warbled but cleaner than exposed breaks. At Santa Cruz set waves were chest to head high and clean and fairly weak. In Southern California up north Extratropical storm swell was still producing set waves at waist to chest high and clean but slow and weak. In North Orange Co set waves were waist high and jumbled from south wind. In San Diego surf was chest high and pretty clean but soft. Hawaii's North Shore was head high and clean at top breaks and lined up. The South Shore was getting minimal swell at waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was getting north windswell at waist high and heavily textured with southeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (10/30) residual swell from a strong extratropical storm that developed over the North Dateline region Tues-Wed (10/25) with seas up to 57 ft was fading along the US West Coast. tracking east on Sun (10/15) with up to 40 ft seas was fading in Hawaii. Otherwise nothing of interest is forecast until the weekend when a local gale is to develop off British Columbia falling south producing 18-20 ft seas aimed somewhat at California. And a cutoff low is forecast northwest of Hawaii Tues-Wed (11/1) producing 20 ft seas aimed a bit west of the Islands. Otherwise the Inactive Phase of the MJO is to dominate the surf weather picture for the next few weeks.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (10/30) the jetstream was riding northeast off North Japan with winds to 160 kts reaching the North Dateline region, then falling hard south into a pinched trough reaching south to 27N (on the dateline) only to ridge very hard north pushing up into Alaska. There was little support for gale development in the trough given it's very pinched configuration. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to become fully cut off from the main flow, then is to quickly become reassimilated in the main flow on Thurs (11/2) with the main flow pushing off North Japan and somewhat unfocused, only to split just west of the dateline with the northern branch tracking up through the Bering Sea and into Alaska, while the southern branch tracks flat east on the 30N latitude line eventually pushing into Baja. No troughs are indicated offering no support for gale development. If anything, the split flow will support high pressure over the entire Eastern Pacific. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast, with the jet weak and diffuse pushing off Japan and the Kuril Islands and splitting on the dateline and tracking east in that split pattern like before. No support for meaningful gale development is indicated. Instead, high pressure is the likely outcome at least for the balance of the Northeast Pacific.
On Monday (10/30) residual swell from the an extratropical storm previously over in the North Dateline Region was fading in California (see Extratropical Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast. A weak cutoff upper level and surface low are forecast developing 800 nmiles northwest of Hawaii on Tues (10/31) producing 30-35 kt north to northwest winds and 18-20 ft seas aimed mostly south of Hawaii. Some sideband windswell could result for the Islands at best.
Also a storm is tracking up the northern Kuril Islands with 45-50 kt south winds over exposed waters just east of there generating 41 ft seas at 48N 155E targeting only Kamchatka. This system is to continue lifting north into Tues AM (10/31) and moving inland over Kamchatka then with seas fading from 30 ft. Low odds of any sideband swell radiating east.
For windswell relative to California: On Tues Am (10/31) high pressure at 1034 mbs is to be centered in the Gulf of Alaska ridging into the Pacific Northwest generating a weak gradient over North CA waters producing 25 kt north winds and resulting in some windswell. But the fetch is to be gone by Wed AM (11/1) and the windswell fading with it.
For windswell relative to Hawaii: No windswell producing fetch is forecast.
Extratropical Storm Lan
On Sat AM (10/21) Typhoon Lan was 650 nmiles south southwest of Tokyo Japan tracking north-northeast with winds 130 kts (150 mph). This system moved directly over Tokyo on Sun AM (10/22) with winds 110 kts, briefly moving over land, then back over the North Pacific a few hours later Sun PM with winds 90 kts and heading northeast. This system raced northeast Mon AM (10/23) and start reorganizing as an extratropical storm in the evening with its core just off Southern Kamchatka with a broad fetch of 40-45 kt west winds off the Central Aleutians with seas 34 ft at 42N 157E aimed east. On Tues AM (10/24) a large fetch of 50 kt west winds were developing just south of the Western Aleutians as the storm center stalled over the Western Aleutians and seas built from 37 ft at 49N 162-178E aimed east. In the evening west winds built to 60 kts approaching the dateline with 56 ft seas modeled at 49.5N 173.0E aimed east (325 degs HI, 306 degs NCal). The core of the storm tracked east over the Aleutians Wed AM (10/25) with winds fading from 45 kts early south of the Aleutians over the North Dateline region with seas 52 ft at 47N 178W (336 degs HI, 302 degs NCal). The storm is to dissipated in the evening with 30 kt northwest winds fading and seas dropping from 39 ft at 44N 173W (335 degs HI, 297 degs NCal). The Jason-2 satellite made a pass directly over the core of the fetch and confirmed a 15 reading average sea height of 38.3 ft with one reading to 43.7 ft. The model was right on track.
North CA: Residuals on Mon AM (10/30) fading from 4.8 ft @ 15 secs (7.0 ft). Swell Direction 302-306 degrees
Southern CA: Swell fading Monday (10/30) 3.2 ft @ 16-17 secs early (5.0-5.5 ft). Residuals on Tues (10/31) fading from 2.1 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 303-309 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (10/30) north winds at 15-20 kts were over the region from Big Sur northward to near Cape Mendocino and forecast to build into the evening covering all of North and Central CA. That is to fade as the wind area pushes off the coast Tues AM. Light north winds 5 kts or less are forecast nearshore all day. A light wind pattern is to hold Wed-Fri (11/3). North winds to take hold Sat AM at 15 kts for all of North and Central CA behind a front falling south to Big Sur later in the day. North winds 15 kts forecast on Sun (11/5) fading to 10-15 kts on Mon (11/6).
On Monday (10/30) no swell of interest was in the water or radiating north.
Over the next 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the deep Central South Pacific on Tues PM (10/31) producing a small area of 40 kt southwest winds and seas starting to build. on Wed AM (11/1) southwest winds to build to 45 kts over a tiny area aimed northeast with seas to 30 ft at 50S 150W over a tiny area. Fetch is to continue tracking northeast in the evening at barely 45 kts with 30 ft seas moving to 47S 144W. On Thurs AM (11/2) 40 kt south fetch is to build in coverage some but not moving north any more with seas 29 ft at 45S 137W targeting California well. fetch is to be falling south and having less coverage in the evening at barely 45 kts with seas 30 ft over a tiny area retreating from 50S 130W. On Fri AM (11/3) secondary fetch of 40 kts is to be feeding into the gales core from the southwest and seas building to 26 ft at 49S 143W aimed northeast well. In the evening that fetch is to build to 45 kts well to the north with seas 30 ft over a decent sized area at 40N 130W aimed northeast. on Sat AM (11/4) a tiny area of 45-50 kt southwest winds is to hold while tracking east with seas building to 36 ft over a small area at 42S 121W and starting to move out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile and Peru. Beyond this system is to be tracking east and out of the CA swell window targeting mainly Chile. 38 ft seas are forecast in the evening at 42S 112W all aimed east. This system is to fade and fall southeast from there. Maybe some small swell to result for California. Something to monitor.
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 a gale is to develop just off Vancouver Island on Fri AM (11/3) with 35 kt north winds and seas 21 ft at 47.5N 132W targeting the US West Coast. Fetch is to fall south in the evening off Oregon fading from 30 kts from the north and seas 19 ft at 45N 135W. the gale is to fade from there. Maybe some windswell to result for California for the weekend.
Otherwise a weak swell production pattern is to take hold driven by a split jetstream and that influenced by the Inactive Phase of the MJO.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Inactive MJO Forecast - Cool Pool Steady and Solid
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sun (10/29) the 5 day average indicated east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific including the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were light westerly over the East Pacific and light easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (10/30) Light west anomalies were modeled over the entire KWGA. Light west anomalies are to hold over the entire KWGA through 11/3, then eroding and starting to be replaced by weak east anomalies at the end of the model run on 11/6. The first Active Phase of the MJO in months is likely fading.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 10/29 a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern was getting a toe over the West Pacific. The statistical model depicts it building to the east and in control over the West Pacific by the end of the model run 15 days out. The dynamic model depicts the same thing initially but then fading 15 days out with the Active Phase trying to build in to the far West Pacific.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (10/30) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO moderate in strength in the Western Atlantic and collapsing over the next 3 days and incoherent after that. The GEFS model suggests a variant of the same thing but with the Active Phase holding together a little longer while pushing east and in the Maritime Continent 2 weeks out.
40 day Upper Level Model: (10/30) This model depicts a moderate Inactive/Dry pattern over the Central Pacific and it's to track east into Central America 11/9. After that a weak Active/Dry Phase is to follow in the West on 11/14 pushing east to Central America through 12/9. A weak pattern is to follow. This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (10/30) This model depicts a modest Active Phase of the MJO over the East KWGA with weak west west anomalies over the same area. The Active Phase is to move east and be gone from the KWGA by 11/6 with light west anomalies fading over that time period in the KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to develop in the KWGA on 11/5-12/16 with mostly neutral anomalies perhaps turning weakly east limited to the far West Pacific. Then the Active Phase returns weakly on 12/17 with weak west anomalies in control into 1/18/2018. The Inactive Phase to follow but weak into 1/27/18. The low pass filter indicates a modest El Nino signal over the extreme west KWGA and is to ease east filling it by Jan 15. A La Nina signal is over the East KWGA near the dateline and is to move into the East Pacific and no longer in the KWGA by Jan 1. Interesting. If this is true, it suggests the underpinnings of La Nina that is developing in the Pacific and to peak in Jan are weak and fading and are to be gone by late December. Assuming it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond, this winter is lost to La Nina with no significant change expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5+ years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (10/30) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are barely 29 degs centered at 160E and shrinking in coverage. The 28 deg isotherm line is hanging on at 170W. The 24 deg isotherm is weak at 130W today and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to weakly negative temperatures at the surface and down to -2 degs C down 100 meters at between 110-155W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +0.5 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool at 165W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 10/25 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 90W to 165W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (10/25) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 160W with one patch to -15 cms at 125W.
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: (10/29) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern has developed. Upwelling continues solidly along Peru and Ecuador (steady the past few days) then tracking west on the equator out to 150W. The cool pool continues west from there out to 160W. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (10/28): A neutral trend was along Peru. A modest warming trend was indicated starting just off Ecuador over the Galapagos continuing west to 160W. this is an upgrade from days and weeks past.
Hi-res Overview: (10/28) A clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 160W and stronger than days past. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 175E. This pattern outlines the South Pacific high pressure system well and is stronger than normal and likely is also strong in the North Pacific too. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions. 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 entire planet.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (10/30) Today's temps were falling at -1.909, and equal to the previous coldest point so far this La Nina when they dipped to -1.9 degs on 10/11.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (10/30) temps were rising slightly but still cool at -0.530, but up from the most recent cool downward spike on 10/23 at -1.1 degs and cooler than a previous downward spike on 9/12 at -0.898. The long arc clearly suggests a downward trend. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (10/30) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.5 in early Oct to -1.0 in late Dec. Then the trend is to turn upwards reaching -0.25 in April and +0.25 degs in July 2018. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (10/13) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Feb 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Sept Plume updated (9/19) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.4 degs in Sept, and fading to -0.6 degs in Nov, slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link. The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.75 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is the outlier, colder than all other models. Still, given all the oceanic signals, we a tending to side with it more than the other models.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (10/30): The daily index was steady at -2.19. The 30 day average was rising at 10.93. The 90 day average was falling at +6.84. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (10/30) The index was rising slightly again at -0.92 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). This at most looks like a rising trend developing, which would be good. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. But the recent upward trend is offering some hope. Still 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.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
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= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO discounting the recent La Nina dip. 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, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32. 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