Thursday, August 27, 2015

CA Buoy coming back online in October

The CA Buoy (46059) is set for deployment in October - this is great news and timing for the coming season.  This buoy has been out of service since 2012.  It's a vital buoy as it's in a great location to give us a sense timing, size of incoming swell trains.  The buoy is roughly 357 nautical miles to the northwest of SF.  No update yet on the Papa Buoy, which has also been offline for a while now and sits beyond the CA buoy at a greater distance, but equally vital to tracking swell.  Incoming swell trains for the weekend from Atsani look a touch smaller than models projected, but there will still be plenty to ride.  Very early season low pressure system churning in the Gulf is set to bring a chance of rain to far northern CA and may increase southerly winds from late Friday on - but strongest winds will probably be north of Pt Reyes.  Cya in the water.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Swell doors open....

Last week of August.  N Pac and S Pac warming up with swell due in here later this week into next week and beyond.   Former Typhoon Atsani is moving north of Japan and will transition into an extratropical storm this week while pushing out a long period WNW swell (270-290) creeping up this Wednesday and topping out next weekend Aug 30-31.  Size wise - probably waist to chest high + mid week and bigger this weekend.  Also going to have some steep angled mid period NW swell (320+) mixing in mid week and some shorter period wind swell.  The mid period swell should feature overhead sets the further north you go.  SW swell (190-220) mixes in for the upcoming weekend - good to push chest/shoulder high sets in at south facing breaks, but might be lost a bit under all the dominant northwest/west swell energy.  Winds will be lightest early - still locked in a summer pattern of onshore winds.  But overall winds have been on the lighter side so check it.  As we transition to September, looking for these early season systems hitting the Pacific Northwest to cruise into the Great Basin and start giving us some offshore winds.  Really waiting for the jet stream in the N Pac to energize with El Nino fully flexing it's muscle as we move into fall.  Cya in the water.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

And so, it almost begins.....

As of Early August, most experts have officially announced a strong El Nino is in play.  The warm water we're experiencing actually has nothing to do with El Nino, rather the lack of heavy northwest winds this summer kicking off upwelling and more about the ongoing southerly flow of wind which tends to increase water temps around these parts.  Elsewhere in the Pacific, subsurface warm water along the equator - stretching west to east and north and south with some key areas El Nino experts monitor  - much warmer than usual  - (referred to as the Nino 3.4 and Nino 1.2 regions) and West Pacific Cyclone Molave forecast to recurve and turn extra tropical to bring us potentially our first longer period west/northwest swell of the season next week.  If that system tracks as forecast we can see surf week of 8-24.  The northern branch of the Pacific jet stream is more active than normal for August - not remarkable, but certainly more energetic than you would find this time of year.  What's it all mean for us?  Well, hopefully copious amounts of rain - but that's not always a sure thing with an El Nino, where the southern branch of the jet stream can get move active and bring weather into So Cal.  But recent history has proven we get plenty of rain, 1997, 82 and smaller events.  High elevation snowpack - due to warm storms, high snow levels.  Good for water supply, bad for most Tahoe ski resorts.  Plenty of swell, but could come with a lot of weather as storms form close offshore and barrel through.  Will update on Typhoon Atsani early next week.  Then look for official forecasts weekly to start up in September.  Cya in the water.

Monday, August 3, 2015


Pt Arena buoy has gone offline.  We've lost another window to the N Pac for the upcoming season.  Not sure if NOAA cares any longer about buoys along the West Coast.  CA buoy and SE Papa have both been offline for around two years now.  Mix of northwest windswell and back to back SSW and SSE swells on tap this week - best winds look like Wednesday and Thursday.  Maybe again on Saturday.  Both southern swell events are coming in at a very steep angle so will miss much of the region unless you know where to look.  Less than 30 days to go until September.  Cya in the water.