Mavericks Photos by Mark Nockleby
ENTERED FRIDAY 160212 0600—————
Long period swells from an el-niño powered storm that peaked far out at sea are coming in to California today, and the Mavericks monster wave surfing competition at Half Moon Bay is on. In Half Moon Bay, a patch of rocks just below the surface of the water does an amazing thing to long period swells, big waves spaced far apart, when they enter otherwise calm waters in California.
A gigantic stable air regime has been over California all week. Storms 43 and 44 have come along to knock down a little, create a pause in Stable Air Regimes. Today the weather has turned cloudier, windier in spots. It was tough for the Mavericks organizers to pick an ideal day to have the surf competition, as big waves have come along with wind and rain, causing choppiness. Today there was less conflicting weather of every day this year so far. The monster waves at Mavericks, however, have been happening all water year.
Stable Air regime 9 On Its Way Out but Dry Weather Persists
It has been a Hot one! The week-long February dry spell could go on a little longer as the El Niño jet is still split out at sea and is taking its sweet time coming back together. But what we’re counting on a few factors in atmospheric dynamics to come together to end the split and break down the super-barrier to California storms that has been the 9th stable air regime. The active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation over the tropical Pacific is about to come back to the Pacific and boost the El Niño’s effect, while Rossby Waves over the mid-latitude Pacific will collude to put together a stronger, longer jet stream.
Storm 43 – Weak Storm
Just for the sake of completeness, I have to mention a weak storm has come our way, bringing barely-measurable precipitation, even to California and Oregon’s wettest places. Storm 43 crossed onto land on Tuesday, 160210. It dissipated.
Storm 44 – Weak Storm
And, shown here is Storm 44. It brings thin cloudiness and hardly any measurable precipitation. Both these fronts from a Gulf of Alaska polar cyclone, also responsible for generating today’s surf swells at Mavericks.
Previously misidentified as yet a third storm, pictured above is what is still Storm 44, making landfall today, Friday 160212. It is the most significant storm front to come through in the week since Stable Air Regime 9 began on 160204. It has pushed the once-massive clear-air bubble of the regime down to SoCal, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada. Storm 44 brings with it a cooling trend, but will fail to break up the dry weather pattern.
The warm temperatures of Stable Air Regime 9 began to melt the high sierra snow (note the bumpiness in the snowbank in the photo), but cooler air has come to the rescue at last, even though things are remaining dry.