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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: January 22, 2006 4:32 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 4.2 - California & 3.8 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 1/23 thru Sun 1/29
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

East Pacific Locked Down
West Pacific Active

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (1/22) Northern CA surf was head high a clean, crisp conditions. South facing breaks were chest high. Central California surf was chest to head high with some slightly overhead sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to maybe chest high at the best spots with most waist high or less. The LA area southward to Orange County was waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high.The North Shore of Oahu was 2-3 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist to shoulder high. The East Shore was head high from easterly windswell.

The first of two smaller swells is hitting California focused north of Pt Conception on Sunday with another scheduled in first light Monday AM. Pristine conditions the norm. Fun sized clean surf is also occurring in Hawaii with no big change expected. All storms are currently forecast to remain bottled up just off the Kuril Islands with swell energy either indirectly pushing southeast to Hawaii or making the long route to North and Central California, well decayed by the time it arrives with the result being more fun sized surf for the Islands and California over the coming week. There are suggestions of local windswell in the mix late week for California and maybe more early next week, but that's pure speculation. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Sundays (1/22) jetstream exhibited the same sickness it had late last week, namely a strong flow off Japan splitting before the dateline with the north branch pushing over the northern Gulf of Alaska and the south branch diving to the equator. A pronounced dead spot was in-place between the two split streams covering the entire Eastern Pacific. Today the split point was aa few hundred nmiles west of the dateline with winds coming off Japan at 190 kts, then fading fast at the split point. Pockets of 120 kt energy were pushing northeast into and through the Gulf of Alaska but there were no clear indications of anything that would support surface level storm development. Over the next 72 hours through early Wednesday (1/25) a bit of a trough is to develop off Japan but winds are to fade to the 150 kts mark with the split point still limiting the areal coverage of the trough, thus limiting it's ability to get anything going storm-wise at the oceans surface. The split point is to migrate east to maybe 170W, but that is small potatoes compared to what needs to happen. A weak trough is forecast to develop in the northern branch pushing east through the northern Gulf of Alaska, but it's forecast to be pretty worthless. Beyond 72 hours the same pattern to hold, but with one ray of hope. The split point is to make some eastward progress pushing to just northwest of Hawaii at 35N 165W, suggesting that if one more solid batch of energy were to push off Japan it might shut off the split stream flowing south to the equator and consolidate everything back into one solid stream flowing west to east. But there's no indication of that yet, so for now no change is expected with a rather quite storm pattern forecast through next Sunday (1/29).

At the surface today high pressure at 1032 mbs remained dominant over the waters of the Northeast Pacific reaching from the dateline east over Hawaii into California and northeast up and over British Columbia. This high continued generating brisk easterly trades from Baja to Hawaii. No low pressure of interest was present in the Eastern Pacific. But a broad low was starting to organize off Japan with pressure 972 mbs but was already tracking north with winds 45 kts in it's south quadrant aimed towards Hawaii but most fetch in it's north quadrant aimed back at the Kuril Islands.

Over the next 72 hours this area is to be the main focus of our interest. On Sunday (1/21) evening pressure to be 956 mbs with a tiny fetch of hurricane force 60-65 kt winds in the storms south quadrant at 45N 160E aimed for a short duration east towards Hawaii down the 315 degree path but mostly towards California up the 304 degree path. This fetch to fade fast Monday AM but not before 42 ft seas are generated at 46N 163E. On Monday the fetch is to be replaced by a less defined 40-45 kt fetch centered roughly at 43N 165E continuing through Tuesday at 44N 170E fading out on Wednesday. These winds to be aimed at California up the 299-303 degree path and 40 degrees east of the 315-319 degree path to Hawaii. Seas forecast at 34-37 ft seas near 43N 165E. This system to be 3215 nmiles from North CA and 2241 nmiles from Hawaii. Current data suggests swell of 6.7-7.4 ft @ 17-20 secs likely for exposed breaks in North and Central California (10-12 ft faces) starting Friday AM (1/27) small building through Sunday afternoon from 299-304 degrees then fading. Hawaii can expect swell starting Thursday morning (1/26) building to 6-7 ft @ 17 secs (10-12 ft faces) continuing through Saturday AM from 315-319 degrees then fading.

Also a local 1008 mb low is forecast in the Southern Gulf of Alaska late Monday (1/23) drifting east with limited 35 kt fetch aimed mostly south initially a bit east of Hawaii then swinging towards California on Tuesday before pushing inland over British Columbia early Wednesday. 25 ft seas forecast likely tracking best to Southern California but hitting in the North first late Thursday (1/26) building southward Friday.

Otherwise high pressure is to continue ruling the East Pacific with faint bits of low pressure and nondescript 30-35 kt southwest winds pushing up into the northern Gulf of Alaska pushing inland over east Alaska .

Also last Tuesday (1/17) a system started developing mid-way between Japan and the dateline. By evening pressure was down to 980 mbs with a tiny fetch of 50-60 kt winds confirmed in it's south quadrant aimed close to Hawaii. Seas modeled at 22 ft at 36N 162E. By Wednesday AM (1/18) pressure dropped to 972 mbs with winds holding at 50 kts over a small area centered at 38N 170E aimed towards Hawaii down the 310 degree great circle path with 32 ft seas were modeled at 38N 168E. In the evening the storm lifted north directing 45-50 kt winds and 34 ft seas east towards California from 38N 175E aimed up the 296 degree path with additional energy towards Hawaii up the 315 degree path. On Thursday AM (1/19) the storm was fading fast with residual 32 ft seas modeled at 42N 180W aimed east towards California up the 295 degree path. This system has already generated decent utility class swell for Hawaii (Saturday 1/21). Small utility class swell is also trickling east for North and Central California starting Monday (1/23) with swell forecast at 4.4 ft @ 17-18 secs early (7-8 ft faces) from 195-296 degrees eventually filtering down into Southern CA late but with less than half the size.

No other swell producing systems forecast.

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (1/22) high pressure at 1034 mbs was positioned 300 nmiles off Cape Mendocino ridging into the Pacific Northwest providing dry stable air over the area and expected to continue through Tuesday. By then the high is to be inland enough that a small 1000 mb low is forecast to have formed in it's wake pushing east positioned to within 600 nmiles of Oregon on Wednesday (1/25) then sinking south bringing brisk south winds into North and Central CA and even South CA late Thursday. The low to push inland Friday but only to be followed by a much stronger system Saturday (1/28) with 50-55 kt winds forecast in it's core off the Pacific Northwest. It's leading edge forecast to start impacting the north coast late Saturday, but not making it much further south than maybe Morro Bay on Sunday.

The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a total shutdown of the North Pacific is forecast other than one small storm forecast off Oregon Saturday (1/28) pushing southeast towards Cape Mendocino with 34 ft seas peaking Saturday evening.

Nothing else of interest suggested.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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