Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Wednesday 1 18 17 morning call

Just a SUP downwinder for me yesterday, I preferred to keep my cuts dry.

Here's a shot from the SUP lesson the day before. As I wrote, perfect knee to thigh high waves and my student improved a lot.

No wonder, with all those waves he caught in 2 hours! He had a GPS watch and sent me the stats of the session. Pretty impressive.

4am significant buoy readings
South shore

0.4ft @ 18s from 211° (SW)

Lovely tiny long period SW reading. The WNW energy went down enough for the buoy to feel that. It intrigued me enough to go retrieve the wind map of 7 days ago (Jan 11) and sure enough, there's a small fetch in the Tasman Sea. Good job Lanai buoy, very impressive.
What's that gonna do? Probaly nothing, other than the odd long period knee to thigh high set once in a very long while. Check the webcams for confirmation.

North shore
5ft @ 11s from 299° (WNW)

4.5ft @ 11s from 304° (WNW)
4.3ft @ 9s from 312° (NW)
2.3ft @ 15s from 307° (WNW)

4.4ft @ 12s from 301° (WNW)

4.6ft @ 11s from 313° (NW)

3.8ft @ 6s from 71° (ENE)           
3.8ft @ 9s from 54° (ENE)
3.3ft @ 11s from 321° (NW)

No sign of the new forecasted WNW swell at the NW101 buoy. The NW001 has a very unimpressive 15s reading that makes me think it's not that either. Those buoys have shown not to be particularly sensitive to the long period small waves (the Lanai one just showed us how that is done instead), but it's understandable considering how rough the open ocean out there must be.
We'll probably still have to live with the old westerly energy all day. 3.3f 11s can be fun (if it wasn't for the wind and the windswell...). Probably still head high sets, but blown out by the trades as we'll see at the end of this post. Overall, it should be a pretty average day of surfing.

Intrigued by the lack of signs of the new WNW swell, I went to check out that Stormsurf website I published a map of a few days ago, to try to find out what time they think the swell will arrive. Not a particularly easy thing to figure out from their maps, I have to admit.
Below is the surf forecast map for 2pm. The violet stuff is 20 feet or more. Really? I'm curious to see what the Hanalei buoy will register. As you can see, it should have already reached Oahu too, while in Maui the numbers indicate still 8 feet. The little arrows are the wind barbs and make the reading of this busy map even more difficult.

The next available map is the 8pm one. I like the fact that it shows the big stuff just offshore of Maui, but not quite hitting our north shore. That's because of the WNW direction and the blockage of the upstream islands. But, how big is the waves going to be by the coastline? I can barely read a number 12.

Allright, 12 feet what? To have an indication of the period, you have to select another map. This is back to 2pm and you can see that by then the violet area of 20s should already be hitting. Wait, wasn't the surf 8f at 2pm? 8f 20s would be a massive swell, but that is so not gonna happen.

Those maps are ok if you want to qualitatively show someone the effect of the of the blockage of the upstream islands (like I'm doing with you guys), but they are useless for gaining the forecasted size of the waves. That might be somewhere else on the website, but I couldn't be bothered to dig in further because I went straight back to Surfline. Call me weird, but that's as clear as a wave forecast can get, IMO.

The arrows are spaced every 6 hours, and that's exactly the same temporal spacing of those maps above (confirmation of the fact that they probably use the output of the same models). By hovering with the mouse on the 8pm arrow (the first of the new yellow swell), you get a reading of 2.6f 18s from 320. Which means that, if that is true, we won't see much energy before dark at all.
The blue swell is the old one still lingering and the red one is windswell. Below you got the wind, the tides and even temperature and sky prediction. Simple and complete, I honestly cannot think about a single improvement for this graph. I hope they'll never change it.

In the meantime instead, Windity did change something and now this is the minimum resolution in which I can have both north and south pacific in the same map. Don't like it too much.
Current wind map shows:
1) WNW fetch. There have been continuous WNW fetches, so we're gonna have continuous swells from that direction.
2) Impressive Tasman Sea fetch in the middle of January. They're having a really bad summer down there (unless you're a surfer, of course) and Fiji's off season guests are having a good time.

The change they did reflects even worse in the minimum resolution that I can get the local NAM3 maps before they get all screwed up.
NAM3 map at 7am shows some moderate trades and it should stay like that pretty much all day.
As a matter of fact, the Hookipa iWindsurf sensor is reading 6 to 16 at 5am and I can hear gusts outside the window. I might as well go back to sleep...

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