On Monday (1/9) Northern CA surf was 3-4 ft overhead and clean early. South facing breaks were chest to head high and clean. Central California surf was head high to 1 ft overhead. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to chest high at the best breaks with most in the waist to chest high range. The LA area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with rare sets to head high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.
Generally small swell hitting both California and Hawaii with neither doing anything noteworthy, though rideable surf could be had. The next swell of interest was hitting the outer California buoy moving towards the coast, with large utility class size expected at the right breaks north of Pt Conception. In Hawaii rather moderate surf to continue under the influence of brisk trades. The swell machine to continue active, though nothing really noteworthy is on the charts with only moderate class surf to be the expected result. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Mondays (1/9) jetstream was flowing steady off Japan at 150 kts tracking thinly northeast to a point well north of Hawaii poised to impact the Pacific Northwest. No impressive power was indicated nor were any troughs or ridges of interest. A pretty generic winter-like pattern was evidenced. Over the next 72 hours the same pattern to hold initially but a bit of a trough is build into this flow in the Gulf on Wednesday (1/11) north of Hawaii with a brief burst of 170 kt winds flowing into it and suggesting support for a weak storm at the surface by Thursday. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to fade and track east pushing into California for Saturday (1/14) while 150 kt winds continue north of Hawaii. The flow off Japan to really weaken though. By early next week a weak trough is scheduled for the Gulf of Alaska, but no real wind speeds to be in or around it with the whole jet becoming very weak and ill defined. Looks like the storm pattern will disintegrate.
At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs stretched from Hawaii east into North California, the most we've seen in weeks. Generic weak low pressure filled the Gulf of Alaska back to the dateline, but no swell producing fetch was in evidence. On Wednesday (1/11) a small 998 mb low is expected to be developing mid-way between North Japan and the dateline tracking northeast with a small area of 50 kt winds aimed towards Hawaii and seas building to near 30 ft Thursday AM, but aimed too far east to have optimal swell generation potential for Hawaii and way too far away to be of interest for California. This system to reach the Aleutian Islands by Friday with additional energy feeding into it from the southwest.
Also a diffuse 1000 mb low to be setting up off California on Thursday (1/12) producing 35 kt winds aimed well south of the state then lifting north into Friday with 30-35 kt fetch producing 22 ft seas aimed right at the coast but in very close proximity, likely generating a large lumpy and unrefined windswell/utility class swell. This system to move onshore Saturday.
On Friday evening (1/6) a new low organized with pressure dropping to 968 mbs with 55 kt winds in it's south quadrant at 46N 172W aimed generally east towards California up the 300 degree great circle route. This continued through Saturday night heading east with wind aimed down the 303 degree route to CA. Seas building to 32 ft. This storm started to wind down through the day Sunday as it moved into the Central Gulf of Alaska with winds down to 35 kts late. Seas were modeled up to 38 ft in the morning though right before the storm collapsed. Those seas were located at 49N 152W aimed decently down the 304-308 degree path to North California. This storm produced decent swell pushing south to California from a rather northerly track, and is currently hitting buoy 46006 (Monday AM 1/9) with pure swell there 13-15 ft @ 17.2 secs. This should provide significant class swell for exposed breaks at 8-9 ft @ 17 secs (13-15 ft faces).
Also on Saturday (1/7) another storm fired up off Japan with pressure down to 972 mbs in the evening with winds confirmed at 55-60 kts at 37N 168E aimed east towards Hawaii up the 299 degree path but south of any route to California. Seas modeled to 30 ft at 37N 158E. On Sunday (1/8) pressure rose to 980 mbs as the storm crosses the dateline with winds 45-50 kts early and less (40 kts late) aimed 25-30 degrees east of the 315 degree path to Hawaii but right up the 295 degree path to California, though still a long ways away. Seas were 30-32 ft at 39N 171E by evening but were confirmed by the Jason-1 satellite at 37-38 ft. By Monday AM (1/9) pressure was up to 992 mbs with 40-45 kt wind remaining at 42N 180W aimed well east of targets in Hawaii but aimed right at California up the 292 degree path. In the AM 30 ft seas were modeled at 42N 178E and expected to hold into the evening. This storm to continue east on Tuesday (1/10) but fading fast with no real swell generating fetch expected to continue.
This was a relatively long lasting and reasonably strong storm, though small in total areal coverage - Basically a 'normal' winter storm. A large utility class swell/minimal significant class swell is expected for both Hawaii (shorter period but more a.cgiitude) and California (longer period but less a.cgiitude).
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Monday (1/9) high pressure was in control 1028 mbs midway between California and Hawaii. A weak front to possibly drag some south winds into North CA Tuesday (1/10) but that to be short lived. Within 24 hours some flavor of north winds expected back in the forecast and expected to remain that way till Friday (1/13) when a vigorous local low/front pushes over the north coast. But that south wind event is to be short lived with west to northwest winds moving back in by mid-day Saturday and no other threats forecast into early next week.
Both the south wind episodes indicated above to not make it much south of Big Sur.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours two more smallish systems are on the charts. The first storm is to be over the dateline and is really a resurgence of a storm already present there. It's to pick up some more energy on Friday (1/13) with pressure 976 mbs with 45 kt winds in it's west quadrant aimed right at Hawaii. Seas building. By Saturday this system to continue with 50-55 kts winds and 32 ft seas taking aim midway between Hawaii and California then fading out Sunday. 37 ft seas forecast on the dateline early Sunday before this storm fades. Good potential for HAwaii with lesser size possible for California.
Another storm is forecast pushing east off Japan on Sunday (1/15) reaching the dateline Monday night and fading. Fetch up to 50 kts but aimed mainly south of even targets in Hawaii.Not to much hope from this one.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Details to follow...
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El Nino Forecast Updated: The Stormsurf El Nino forecast was updated on 12/30/05. Check out all the latest details concerning El Nino and it's impact on the winter surf season. Details here
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table