cold water cycle? i don't get it

sdrepairman

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so supposibly we are in a cold water cycle.
but what makes it a cold water cycle?
is it the water temp in winter, summer, or just an average temp throughout the year?
the reason i ask it because for the past year or two it seems like here in San Diego the water has only dropped below 60 degrees a few time, and as far as i can think it has not dropped below 60 this winter.
being a surfer i can recall the water getting down to the low 50's during the winter and having to put on a 4/3 wetsuit with booties, but the past 2 years i have not needed anything but my 2/3 suit.
but the past couple of summers have not been too warm, with only maybe a few weeks with water temps close to 70 or over.
also if the anchovies like colder water than the sardines then why would the anchovies be all around when this has been the warmest winter that i can remember?
 
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simmo13

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I think we are just now say since last summer transitioning out of the cold water cycle. Being a surfer too, a few years ago say 2010,2011,2012 the summers were like 55 degrees water. So I hope we are out of that cold water cycle. Not sure on the chovie deal. But yah today was 62-63 out on horseshoe kelp in long beach. Winter??
 
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plj46

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Good questions and thank you for not using the term El Nino.I havent really noticed any cold water cycle either.Things seem normal to me.
 
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BiggestT

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When you're citing local water temps, it's just that: Local. I don't surf anymore, but I do know we had a high pressure system stuck over CA for much of the winter. Not much wind and warmer than average temps over land. Saw many trip reports with photos here showing calm water conditions. Lack of wind means lack of mixing warm surface waters with colder subsurface water. So you've got localized warming.

Traditionally, we see heavier onshore winds in the spring, which brings cold water upwellings. We're seeing those start right about now.
 
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26grumpy

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Traditionally, we see heavier onshore winds in the spring, which brings cold water upwellings. We're seeing those start right about now.

According the the DFW (Dept of Fish and Wildlife) last season was the 14th consecutive cold water year for So Cal. Lets not forget about that wall of squid below the 43 that stopped the local off-shore scene 5 years ago (sans that Dorado bite two seasons ago).

Yup and those winds haven't blown for 4 or 5 years now. Not in the traditional sense where it would be normal to have just a handful of days that were fishable from late Feb.- mid May.We prayed for June gloom to keep the winds down. I remember 10-15kt wind all day every day with 15-20 in the evenings. Dead-flat was few and far between.

Recently I had a discussion with our local bait supplier. I suggested the lack of winds have once again created a very stable sea-state. He said the lack of wind is killing them because those upwellings bring food for the local bait stocks. No food...bait moves to where the food is. Makes sense to me.

Hate to say it but maybe we should all pray for a big fuggin' blow and the beach to roll a few times.
 
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BiggestT

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According the the DFW (Dept of Fish and Wildlife) last season was the 14th consecutive cold water year for So Cal. Lets not forget about that wall of squid below the 43 that stopped the local off-shore scene 5 years ago (sans that Dorado bite two seasons ago).

Yup and those winds haven't blown for 4 or 5 years now. Not in the traditional sense where it would be normal to have just a handful of days that were fishable from late Feb.- mid May.We prayed for June gloom to keep the winds down. I remember 10-15kt wind all day every day with 15-20 in the evenings. Dead-flat was few and far between.

Recently I had a discussion with our local bait supplier. I suggested the lack of winds have once again created a very stable sea-state. He said the lack of wind is killing them because those upwellings bring food for the local bait stocks. No food...bait moves to where the food is. Makes sense to me.

Hate to say it but maybe we should all pray for a big fuggin' blow and the beach to roll a few times.

We're getting those spring winds today. I can see it in the palm trees lining my street.

Not so sure on the reliability of El Niño predictions. NASA's Michael Mann, the father of the AGW Hoax, last predicted an El Niño for 2006/7 and it never happened.
 
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wxdunn

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Uupwelling=cooler water=more nutrients=more abundant sealife from the bottom of the food chain to the top. This year we haven't had many storms, so not as much coastal upwelling in the SoCal area. That explains why our local water temps haven't dropped as much as previous years.
As for El Nino, remember it's not just southern California. Evidence of El Nino is measured in zones near the Equator.
ninoareas_c.jpg

SoCal and Baja SSTs will often experience the far-reaching side impact of El Nino, but just because the water isn't super warm here doesn't mean El Nino didn't happen.
 
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Solandri A

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The predominant current off California heads from North to South.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Current
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Current

The little "notch" of land made by Point Conception / Santa Barbara sets up a separate circulatory system. This gives the inshore waters all the way down to San Diego (including the islands) its own conditions which may or may not be linked to what the California Current is doing. This inshore water tends to be a lot warmer.
http://geology.campus.ad.csulb.edu/people/bperry/geology303/geol303chapter6.html
http://geology.campus.ad.csulb.edu/people/bperry/geology303/geol303chapter6.html
 
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BiggestT

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Coincidentally, I'm reading a book entitled "Landscapes & Cycles, An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism" by Jim Steele and just finished the chapter "The Great Drought Debates and the Power of El Nino." First off great book by a retired biology professor at San Francisco St and a must read for anyone who has an interest in what is really going on with so called Global Warming or Climate Change. I would not say he falls into the category of denier, more like someone who disproves and cuts apart the Global Warming hoax with science based facts and data.

Anyhow, the chapter on droughts and El Nino also covers Pacific Decadal Oscillations and the two of them together. Basically, an El Nino can occur during a cold water phase of the PDO, though less frequently and the magnitude would likely be lower. When El Ninos occur during a warm water phase of the PDO, that is when you're likely to see more extreme weather (for California). Picture it like ocean swells and wind waves. Large ocean swells representing the longer duration PDO and wind waves the shorter duration El Nino. Large ocean swells by themselves don't present much of a problem for navigation so long as the interval is not too close. Throw short interval wind waves on top of a large swell and then navigation becomes difficult. One amplifies the other.

Given that we are in a cold water phase of the PDO (not sure if they've decided exactly when that started) and they typcially last 20+ years, we're in a period where we're likely to see more droughts. Dry landscapes are conducive to daytime heat, so we're likely to see a hotter summer. If an El Nino does develop, depending on its magnitude, it could result in more rain next year. God knows we need that.
 
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sdrepairman

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great stuff so far you guys, thank you
but I'm still wondering what temp makes it a cold water cycle, where is the temp being recorded, and when?
like is it a temp that is taken off Morro bay in July.
or is it the temp from a few different places at different times?
 
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cvjarrod

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so supposibly we are in a cold water cycle.
but what makes it a cold water cycle?
is it the water temp in winter, summer, or just an average temp throughout the year?
the reason i ask it because for the past year or two it seems like here in San Diego the water has only dropped below 60 degrees a few time, and as far as i can think it has not dropped below 60 this winter.
being a surfer i can recall the water getting down to the low 50's during the winter and having to put on a 4/3 wetsuit with booties, but the past 2 years i have not needed anything but my 2/3 suit.
but the past couple of summers have not been too warm, with only maybe a few weeks with water temps close to 70 or over.
also if the anchovies like colder water than the sardines then why would the anchovies be all around when this has been the warmest winter that i can remember?

There are two phenomenon that generally determines water temp off the coast of CA. PDO and ENSO.

ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation)
Basically a measure of El Ninos to La Ninas. Currently neutral.
https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/wcasp/enso_update_latest.html

PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation)
Basically it's the biggest source of climate variability in the Pacific Northwest. Currently negative.
http://cses.washington.edu/cig/pnwc/aboutpdo.shtml

ENSO applies to us in Southern Cal. It's been positive for quite some time, which has given us warmer water than usual. For the other old farts out there, remember when there were ONLY chovies? That was before ENSO went positive. According to ENSO right now, we will have a typical season which means it will be colder than we have experienced in the recent past, but about typical for this region. Remember, we are considered a cold water fishery, so the norm around here is Albacore and colder water.

PDO applies to the Pacific Northwest and is currently negative. If trends hold true, they should have colder water than normal this season.
 
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cvjarrod

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Coincidentally, I'm reading a book entitled "Landscapes & Cycles, An Environmentalist's Journey to Climate Skepticism" by Jim Steele and just finished the chapter "The Great Drought Debates and the Power of El Nino." First off great book by a retired biology professor at San Francisco St and a must read for anyone who has an interest in what is really going on with so called Global Warming or Climate Change. I would not say he falls into the category of denier, more like someone who disproves and cuts apart the Global Warming hoax with science based facts and data.

Anyhow, the chapter on droughts and El Nino also covers Pacific Decadal Oscillations and the two of them together. Basically, an El Nino can occur during a cold water phase of the PDO, though less frequently and the magnitude would likely be lower. When El Ninos occur during a warm water phase of the PDO, that is when you're likely to see more extreme weather (for California). Picture it like ocean swells and wind waves. Large ocean swells representing the longer duration PDO and wind waves the shorter duration El Nino. Large ocean swells by themselves don't present much of a problem for navigation so long as the interval is not too close. Throw short interval wind waves on top of a large swell and then navigation becomes difficult. One amplifies the other.

Given that we are in a cold water phase of the PDO (not sure if they've decided exactly when that started) and they typcially last 20+ years, we're in a period where we're likely to see more droughts. Dry landscapes are conducive to daytime heat, so we're likely to see a hotter summer. If an El Nino does develop, depending on its magnitude, it could result in more rain next year. God knows we need that.

PDO applies to the Pacific Northwest and is currently negative.

ENSO applies to the Pacific Southwest and is currently positive.

Glad to see someone is actually reading about the science of climate instead of being one of the typical sheeple in this country that simply parrot what others say. Kudos to you.
 
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BiggestT

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Article about the PDO:
http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fe/estuarine/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm

The PDO is highly correlated with sea surface temperature in the northern California Current (CC) area; thus we often speak of the PDO as being in one of two phases, a "warm phase" and a "cool phase," according to the sign of sea–surface temperature anomalies along the Pacific Coast of North America. These phases result from the direction of winter winds in the North Pacific: winter winds blowing chiefly from the southwest result in warmer conditions in the northern CC. The CC warms at such times due to onshore transport of warm waters that normally lie offshore. Conversely, when winds blow chiefly from the north, upwelling occurs both in the open ocean and at the coast, leading to cooler conditions in the northern CC.

Looks like from the article above, we just entered the cold portion of the PDO around 2009/10. Better look at selling all those Avets and buying Stellas to cast those anchovies. Stock Play: Short Avet, buy Shim and Accurate ;-)

If you looked at ENSO, it's a sloshing of water back and forth along the equatorial Pacific. During La Nina, trade winds blow towards the West, pushing the water towards the West where it actually piles up against Indonesia. During an El Nino, the trade winds switch towards the East, pushing the warm water back to the East where they pile up against Ecuador, eventually splitting to points north and south. So to detect an El Nino or La Nina, they monitor the ocean surface levels and the prevailing trade winds.

Here's a video that explains it better than I can:

 
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invictus

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To answer the water temp side, the oscillation as it is called is only a few degrees difference from year to year for the El Nino/La Nina. Just a few degrees, not much more. A major oscillation would be like 4-5 degrees in change on average, not necessarily at peak.

Personally, like the big BFT but miss the action of the Albies. Usually see the BFT with the Albies anyway. We haven't had much in the way of an offshore season in a while, really.
 
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