TransPac Wx Prediction- ACE levels are already high

DryArmour

Moderator
We haven't had rain here in Southern California in quite a while and the North Pacific high doesn't look like it will relinquish its grip on the state anytime soon. The massive dome that has occupied the area between Hawaii and the mainland pretty much all winter is simply huge and has all but completely shut off the tap for the foreseeable future.

I got to thinking that this lack of storm activity in the Northeastern Pacific probably means that there is quite a bit more stored energy than normal. A degree or two above normal isn't all that alarming. Three or four degrees would have me concerned about what this coming Summer may bring. After pulling up today's chart I found that while some areas were three to four degrees warmer than normal, other stations like San Diego, Scripps pier and Santa Monica Buoy were all reporting temperatures 6-9 degrees (F) warmer than normal. It is difficult to translate how much of an anomaly that is but if this trend continues it could be an interesting summer here in Southern California. Water offshore are also VERY* warm all the way out to Hawaii. So Cal Water temp table here

With the 2015 TransPac four months off I started looking at historical data for mid to late July tropical activity and found that the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) is the fifth highest level in recorded history (Toggle to Eastern Pacific) at the moment spring is just barely underway. The highest level of ACE on record is the year that saw 24 Tropical Cyclones, 14 Hurricanes, 8 MAJOR Hurricanes in the Eastern/Central Pacific (1992). This was also the year that devastating Hurricane Iniki destroyed the island of Kauai as a category 4 storm. Iniki was born on September 5th as a tropical depression. It traveled across the Central Pacific over the next week and landed in Poipu, Kauai on September 11th, 1992. While historically few Hurricanes have made landfall in July, I remember plenty of Hurricanes passing just to the south or re-curving to the East of the islands in Mid July as a kid growing up in the islands. The surf at Ala Moana Bowls and Sandy's was epic when they made close passes. For mariners however, the hurricanes that went up hurricane alley paralleling the islands could pose a real risk. Thankfully we have much better technology these days and it is unlikely anyone will get caught by surprise.

1992_Pacific_hurricane_season_summary.jpg


Just how warm is the water here off SoCal going to get? I have no idea but in theory the stronger than normal high pressure should create a fair amount of upwelling and cool things off. For whatever reason however that has not been the case this winter. Speaking of wind, we have a pretty peppy event on the horizon on Wednesday so for all of you who do wet Wednesdays, maybe invite some extra friends this week if the forecast holds into Tuesday. If we don't get the expected upwelling this could be an interesting Summer especially if the high climbs further north than normal beginning next month. We'll just have to see if that plays out.

With TransPac starting a week or so later than it does most years, paying attention to and possibly playing tropical systems, could be the key to staying safe and perhaps winning the event. More later as the ACE builds toward summer.

 
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madden

New member
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0
Good analysis... I can feel you! I'm following the weather since now looking fwd to Transpac '15!

 

DryArmour

Moderator
The near coast upwelling here on the Left Coast finall has the near shore water temps where they should be but 100 miles offshore it is a far different story. Another excellent article for the team at WeatherWest.com. If you are sailing in the TransPac you should read it. The amount of available energy continues to rise in the Eastern and Central Pacific.

 
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Raz'r

Super Anarchist
59,546
4,462
De Nile
Thanks for the link.

Does it mean higher chances for lows?

This is my first TPac so not clear on all the ramifications. I've got the storm sails ready...

 

Lat21

Member
420
8
Pacific NW
I don't know what all the implications are, but in 1997, the last "very strong" El Nino, Pyewacket finally broke Merlins course record for Monohulls finishing in 7 days 15 hours. That record was later broken by Morning Glory in 2005 and then Alfa Romeo II in 2009 (2009-2010 was the last "strong" El Nino but Alfa Romeo probably didn't need ideal conditions to set a new record).

 

DryArmour

Moderator
Thanks for the link.

Does it mean higher chances for lows?

This is my first TPac so not clear on all the ramifications. I've got the storm sails ready...
Generally more tropical activity and the squalls as you cross the pond should be more intense and may have more cloud to surface lightning....We'll have to see just how intense it ends up being.

 
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