On Sunday (2/5) Northern CA surf was double to triple overhead with bigger sets at select breaks and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to 3 ft overhead. Central California surf was double overhead and maybe more. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were head high to 3 ft overhead on the biggest sets at the best spots and clean, with most locations more in the chest high range. The LA area southward to Orange County was chest to head high at the best spots. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with sets 1-2 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was 18 ft (Hawaiian) early and heading up. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was getting some wrap around swell with waves to 3 ft overhead at select breaks.
All eye's on Swell #14, the last big swell for likely quite a while. Swell #13 is fading along the California coast but producing very solid surf, especially in the north with offshore winds in control. Swell #14 is moving into Hawaii with even bigger surf expected there through the day, especially late. This same swell is pushing towards California with solid size and very long period to be it's trademark. After that things to really settle down though, so make the most of what you have while you have it. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays (2/5) jetstream had one strong consolidated flow tracking from Japan east to due north of Hawaii, then splitting with a strong flow pushing south over Hawaii and continuing to the equator with a secondary flow pushing northeast into Northern Canada. The net result was lot's of potential in the west Pacific and nothing east of the dateline. In the strong flow winds were up to 190 kts on the dateline with a weak trough trying to set up off the Kuril Islands. Over the next 72 hours through early Wednesday no significant change is forecast with all the energy remaining in the west. A bit of a ridge is to develop over the dateline with winds dropping there to 170 kts while a weak trough sets up north of Hawaii, but it's potential to support surface level storm development is likely to be limited by the split flow occurring on the eastern side of the trough. Beyond 72 hours strong energy is to continue off Japan, rebuilding to 200 kts on Thursday feeding into the trough north of Hawaii, but the split is to hold detaching off the core of the trough flowing over Hawaii. The same general pattern to hold through next weekend with the trough evaporating on Friday and just a strong flow of energy to remain diving over HAwaii to the equator.
At the surface today weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was positioned just north of Hawaii with a secondary high linked to it at 1024 mbs off Oregon. Remnants of Storm #14 were circulating in the Northwestern Gulf of Alaska generating 30-35 kt west winds aimed towards the Pacific Northwest, but nothing really organized indicated. The core of that low pressure was in the Eastern Bering Sea with isobars back across the dateline to almost Kamchatka. Over the next 72 hours the big diffuse low in the Gulf is to evaporate and be replaced by a new weak surface low north of Hawaii early Wednesday producing about 24 hours of fragmented 30-35 kt winds aimed a bit east of Hawaii from a northerly direction and producing 22-25 ft seas, likely good for a solid dose of 13-14 sec period windswell for the Islands, then quickly dissipating. Another system to be developing west of the dateline (see Long Term Forecast)
The active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation appears to be on the wane, with maybe a week of steadily declining energy forecast through 2/12, then all but gone, replaced with strong easterly winds over the West Equatorial Pacific, symptomatic of La Nina. The Southern Oscillation Index (Daily Values) have ventured into negative territory as a result of the MJO, but we expect that to return to positive values as the MJO fades out in the next week or so.
Strong Storm #14 (Hawaii and California) Official Forecast for the Mavericks Surf Contest
On Wednesday PM (2/1) a 976 mb low was winding up just off Northern Japan with 60-70 kt winds confirmed it's south quadrant at 40N 160E aimed east-southeast right up the 306 degree great circle path to Hawaii but 40 degrees south of the 299 degree path to California.
On Thursday AM (2/2) pressure was down to 964 mbs with a solid fetch of hurricane force winds at 65-70 kts confirmed in it's south quadrant at 42N 168E aimed due east or 20 degrees south of the 297 degree path to North CA and 15 degrees east of the 314 degree path to Hawaii. Seas modeled at 39 ft at 42N 159E. The Jason-1 satellite passed right over the fetch, but was not able to discern exact sea heights in it's core. But peripheral measurements were in the 36-39 ft range, actually higher than what the models suggested for that area. So this looks on track. In the evening the storm tracked east with pressure 966 mbs and winds confirmed at 55-60 kts at 42N 180E aimed 15 degrees south of the 293 degree path to North CA and 25 degree east of the 319 degree path to Hawaii. 46 ft seas were modeled at 43N 167E.
On Friday AM (2/3) the storm was on the dateline with pressure 964 mbs. Winds were confirmed down to 50-55 kts at 40N 175W aimed 15 degrees south of the 293 degree path to NCal and 30 degrees east of the 325 degree path to Hawaii. 48 ft seas were modeled at 42N 175E, down from the 52 ft projected earlier. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the easte4rn edge of the fetch but again had a hard time discerning exact sea heights in the core of the storm, though on the outer edges seas were actually slightly higher than what the model suggested, a good sign. In the evening the storm moved into the Western Gulf of Alaska with pressure 968 mbs and winds down to 45 kts at 42N 165W aimed 50 degrees east of the 336 degree path to Hawaii and 15 degrees south of the 292 degree path to NCal. 45 ft seas were modeled at 42N 176W.
On Saturday AM (2/4) the storm was fading fast with pressure 966 ms and the core in the Bering Sea. Residual 35 kt winds were confirmed at 42N 163W aimed at NCal up the 297 degree path. 39 ft seas from previous days fetch were modeled at 42N 166W. No Jason-1 satellite passes were near Storm #14. This storm was gone by nightfall with residual 33 ft seas fading at 42N 160W. Both the AM and PM sea height estimates were up about 1-2 ft from yesterdays projections, but have no real impact on expected surf size, they just add confidence to the forecast.This swell started to hit the Waimea buoy in Hawaii at 00Z with pure swell 7 inches at 28-29 secs up to 1 ft at at 28 secs by 3Z. Now that's a long period swell more than was expected there. This bodes well for California.
On Sunday (2/5) this swell hit Hawaii solid at 1 AM ramping up fast maxing from 7 AM till dark with pure swell 13.5 ft @ 20-23 secs from 319-325 degrees.This was larger than expected. This swell also started moving into buoy 46006 off California at 11 AM with period at 25 secs ramping up to 12.2 ft @ 24.4 secs by 4 PM, right as expected.
Initially this system was holding amazingly well to the forecast track established 3 days earlier. But right at the critical juncture there appeared signs of weakness, with the second half of the storm not modeled to be quite as strong as originally expected, but not too bad. In all it was impressive with a total of 24 hours of hurricane force winds and 48 hours of fetch in excess of 50 kts aimed well at California with the strongest fetch better at Hawaii. Seas in the 50 ft range are rare and were forecast initially for 36 hours (49-53 ft), but now it's 36 hours of seas 45-48 ft, which still isn't bad, but positioned a long ways from California. This downgrade in actual sea heights resulted in a decrease in the size of the swell that will reach California about 8-10 inches. The storm is to was reasonably close to Hawaii (1443-2472 nmiles) but the closer fetch was not aimed well at the Islands. California was 1950-3439 nmiles away allowing much more decay, but the fetch was aimed directly at paths to the West Coast and below the 296 degree track. In the end a very long period moderately large and groomed significant class swell seems likely for both Hawaii and California.
Mavericks: This is the official surf forecast for the Mavericks Surf Contest: Expect swell arrival Monday 6 AM (2/6) with period 25 secs and size small and hardly noticeable but building steadily. Solid swell up to 7 ft @ 23-24 secs expected by sunset (15-17 ft Hawaiian with bigger sets). Swell continuing up overnight maxing near 11 PM as period shifts to 20 secs and holding through 7 AM Tuesday with pure swell 8.7-9.7 ft @ 18-20 secs (16-20 ft Hawaiian) though inconsistent. Solid size to continue from 7 AM through 2 PM with swell 8.7-9.7 ft @ 17-18 secs (15-18 ft Hawaiian). Virtual fetch to have a big factor in this swell, suggesting a large number of waves per set during it's peak into the 17 sec frequencies.
This is looking to easily be the best swell of the season so far. Not huge, not angry but well organized with decent size and groomed. Low tide going nearly negative on Tuesday combined with the long period could be a bit of an issue in the pit, but for the most part this should be performance surf.
Local Wind: Wind to be northeast Monday 10-15 kts continuing northeast 5-10 kts Tuesday. Perhaps a slight chance of northwest wind in the afternoon 5 kts.
Swell Direction: 291-297 degrees with core energy from 293 degrees, well clear of the Farallon Swell Shadow.
Note: The above surf height estimate is conservative based mostly on our custom swell decay tables. We have a highly experimental theory backed up by a series of real-world experiences that suggest storms that track east through the 'Mavericks Corridor' (an area not to be publicly disclosed) actually produce swell 10-17% higher than indicated above. Storm #14 traveled east through that corridor well. If history is any guide pure swell of up to 10-11 ft @ 17-18 ft could be experienced at Half Moon Bay producing surf 17-20 ft Hawaiian, but no guarantees.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Sunday 5 AM HST (2/5) with period at 23 secs, heading up steadily during the day. Swell to peak near 3 PM holding through 9 PM with pure swell 10.5-11.5 ft @ 18-19 secs with sets to 13 ft @ 18-19 secs (18-22 ft Hawaiian with sets to 24 ft at standout breaks). Solid size but less overall energy Monday with pure swell 9-10 ft @ 16 secs early (15-16 ft Hawaiian) and slowly settling down. Swell Direction: 310-326 degrees
North California: Expect swell arrival Monday early morning (2/6) with period at 25 secs and size tiny, inching up during the day. Solid swell up to 7 ft @ 23 secs expected by sunset (15-16 ft faces. Swell to peak from 11 PM into 7 AM Tuesday with pure swell 8.7-9.7 ft @ 18-20 secs (16-20 ft faces) though inconsistent. Solid size to continue from 7 AM through 2 PM with swell 8.7-9.7 ft @ 17-18 secs (15-18 ft faces). Swell Direction: 291-297 degrees
South California: Expect swell arrival Monday noon (2/6) with period at 25 secs and size hardly noticeable, inching up during the day. Swell to peak from starting at sunrise Tuesday through 11 PM with pure swell 5.4-6.2 ft @ 18-20 secs (9-12 ft faces) at best breaks in San Diego and 3.3-4.3 ft @ 18-20 secs (6.7-9.0 ft faces) at most breaks. Swell Direction: 295-304 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (2/5) the models indicate protective high pressure to remain in control through the week with no chance of south winds moving into the picture. An offshore flow, established on Sunday to continue through Thursday (2/9), then starting to build from the northwest as a new high pressure core moves in from the west Friday (2/10) with a full north winds gradient in place by Saturday into Sunday from Pt Conception northward. Looks like the start of Spring. Variations on this high pressure pattern likely to hold for quite a while, supported by the split jetstream flow aloft.
The detailed 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 yet another storm storm is forecast to follow in Storm #14's footsteps though on a slightly more northern route. This one to start winding up off Northern Japan on early Wednesday (2/8) with pressure 960 mbs and winds 55-60 kt over a small area late in the day aimed due east. Seas to 38 ft over a small area aimed east. But this storm to quickly fade on Thursday with winds dropping from 45 kts in the AM as it hits the dateline. Seas to 40 ft on the dateline then dissipating. But additional strengthening is forecast early Friday (2/10) with pressure dropping to 964 mbs and winds rebuilding to 45 kts aimed initially at Hawaii then swinging east towards California late. Seas back up to 32 ft late Friday aimed midway between Hawaii and California. The whole thing to dissipate by early Saturday. Good potential for longer period utility class swell for Hawaii and California if this plays out as forecast by the models.
Yet another system is forecast off Japan next weekend, but confidence is low.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Details to follow...
MV Indies Trader Returns to Sumatra
Indies Trader Marine Adventures is proud to announce that after seven incredibly successful years circumnavigating the globe on Quiksilver's "Crossing" expedition - the MV Indies Trader is returning to its roots in Sumatra.
More info here
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