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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: January 26, 2006 9:23 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   

Building Storm Pattern Forecast
Split Jet Stream to Consolidate

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Thursday (1/26) Northern CA surf was double to near triple overhead with windless but warbled conditions. South facing breaks were 1-3 ft overhead and clean. Central California surf was chest high and clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high at the best spots with most less. The LA area southward to Orange County was up to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were up to waist high.The North Shore of Oahu was head high with sets 1-2 ft overhead. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was head high with sets 1-2 ft overhead from easterly windswell.

California was seeing new swell build in from the northwest generating solid surf at select breaks, though not as clean as in days past. That swell was pushing south towards Point Conception. Hawaii was generally small but more energy is tracking towards the Islands for Friday into the weekend with funsized surf the expected result. But of most interest is the forecast reorganization of the jetstream over the North Pacific which is to result in a amplifying pattern of at least 4 storms pushing from the dateline east into the Gulf of Alaska over the next 7 days. If the models are right, the small waves blues may soon become just a distant memory for both Hawaii and California. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Thursdays (1/26) jetstream continued in the split mode, but not as bad as in days past with the future looking better. Right now a strong flow was pushing off Japan at 190 kts splitting just east of the dateline with the northern branch pushing into the northern Gulf of Alaska while the south branch dove to the equator pushing almost right over Hawaii. A small dead spot remained in-place between the two split streams between Hawaii and California, but steadily loosing ground. A decent trough remained in-place off the Kuril Islands, then fading fast at the dateline. The best chance for support of surface level storm development was off the Kurils. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (1/29) the trough is to continue off Japan with winds in the 170 kt range and tracking east, with the split point continuing to drift east to a point just east of Hawaii. This is a very good sign, suggesting that potential for real storm development to start moving over the open waters of the West Pacific to almost the dateline. Beyond 72 hours the same trend is to continue with the split point completely fading and a consolidated single-jet flow to be in-place by Wednesday (2/1) with a trough in the Gulf and 150 kt winds flowing under it while 120 kt winds continue off Japan. What's even better is a renewed trend of high energy pushing off Japan is expected late Thursday (1/2) with 170 kt winds pushing over the dateline feeding into a decent trough taking up residence in the Gulf of Alaska. This suggests the storm door could open at the surface focused from the dateline east.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was positioned mid-way between Hawaii and Oregon providing storm protection for the California coast and the Islands but driving a series of weak gales over it from the dateline into the Northern Gulf of Alaska. The first one of these was off British Columbia with pressure 992 mbs and confirmed winds 40 kts over a small area aimed generally at the Pacific Northwest. 20-22 ft seas are forecast through early Friday pushing swell east into Oregon and North California with 13sec period swell impacting the coast late Saturday then being overrun by swell for the next system (see QuikCAST's).

Over the next 72 hours another weaker system was behind it expected to intensify in the Gulf on Friday (1/27) with pressure down to 984 mbs in the evening and winds 45-50 kts aimed well at North and Central CA down the 299-308 degree paths with seas 30 ft in very close proximity to the coast. The fetch and seas are to push right into Oregon with significant class swell energy radiating south into California on Sunday (1/29). This could result in Swell #12.

Also on Friday (1/27) a new 972 mb low is to be setting up over the dateline lifting northeast and starting to ride over high pressure between Hawaii and California. By Saturday pressure to be 968 mbs with a small fetch of 45-50 kt winds and 30 ft seas developing in it's south quadrant aimed mostly east towards the US West Coast down the 290-295 degree track (NCal). By evening it's to intensify with near 55 kt winds and 37 ft seas by evening. This storm to fade out through Sunday while pushing east with only 35 kt winds early and dropping from there. Seas 36 ft at 40N 162W early and fading below 30 ft by nightfall. This could be good for another significant class swell for California(Swell #13) mid-week with shorter period utility class energy pushing into Hawaii.

Also what was to be a fairly decent system developing off the Kuril islands on Monday (1/23) has faltered producing only a broad and fragmented area of 40-50 kt winds centered near 42N 160E aimed due east, then dropping to barely 35 kt Tuesday AM and heading down from there. Seas built to 32 ft Tuesday AM, but are expected to be below 30 ft by evening. Long period swell that was expected for Hawaii and the US west coast is now downgraded, with only Hawaii expecting to see any size and that limited to swell of 6 ft @ 16 secs late Friday afternoon (1/27) holding into Saturday AM (9-10 ft faces) then fading. Much less size for the US West coast and likely buried in local short period swell on Monday (1/30).

No other swell producing systems forecast.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday the meteorological stage was being set for a potential burst of storm activity, but what about the local winds? High pressure at 1030 mbs was currently mid-way between Hawaii and Oregon ridging into San Francisco affording a modicum of protection from the building storm track out to sea. Currently the models suggest it to remain off the coast for the next week, albeit getting shoved southeast at times by the expected storm onslaught forecast north of the state, but the focus of the energy is to be directed towards Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. This to result in occasional period of south wind but limited to 12 hour intervals followed by moderate northwest winds after frontal passage. But in general a light wind regime is expected (10 kts or less) for the next 7 days from Pt Reyes southward into Southern CA. Not too bad.

The detailed 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 yet more and stronger energy is suspected, with a 968 mb low wrapping up just west of the dateline Sunday (1/29) with a small area of 50 kt winds in it's south and west quadrants taking aim on both Hawaii and California. This one to push over the dateline Monday with winds expanding in coverage aimed mid-way between the two aforementioned targets. Seas 32 ft building 38 ft on the dateline late. This system to degenerate Tuesday (1/31) as it moves into the Gulf of Alaska proper with winds fading from 45 kt to the 30 kt range and seas fading from 39 ft to 36 ft then decaying to the 30 ft mark late Wednesday 1200 nmiles west of California. This could be Storm # 14...

And yet 2 more system are forecast to follow but that certainly is a reach for the models. At least the trend is positive.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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