On Thursday (2/16) Northern CA surf was chest high. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf was waist to maybe chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high with best breaks to chest high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high and up to chest high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high with sets nearly head high. The North Shore of Oahu was 2-4 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest high.
Swell from the dateline was hitting Hawaii as expected with decent size and is starting to tickle the outer California buoy with longer period but less amplitude. This is to be the last real swell for quite some time in the North Pacific. High pressure was building and expected to stay that way for quite some time. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays (2/16) jetstream had settled into the pattern we'd hoped wouldn't materialize, but it has. That is a massive split in the jet has set up east of the dateline (160E) with the southern branch tracking over Hawaii then splitting again heading towards the equator and Baja while the northern branch pushed northeast over the Aleutians into the Bering Sea. There was no indication of any support for surface level storm development. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (2/19) the split in the jetstream is to continue with no significant change. The northern branch of the jet is to remain dominant pushing up into the western Bering Sea at times to 130 kts. No support for surface level storm development suggested. Beyond 72 hours no change is forecast with the pattern just getting more entrenched.
At the surface today high pressure at 1040 mbs was in control of the Gulf of Alaska dropping south along the California and Baja coast and also drooping southwest over the dateline and beyond to nearly Japan. A weak 992 mb low was just south of the Aleutians at the dateline tracking northeast. It had produced 24 hours of 40-45 kt west winds and seas to 27 ft aimed best at targets along the US West coast, but was so far away that decay is sure to take it's toll on the resulting swell, with not much expected to reach the coast. Over the next 72 hours one more weak and ineffectual low is to track northeast off Northern Japan moving fast to the Western Bering Sea with no real swell producing fetch modeled while high pressure builds off Japan.
On Sunday (2/12) a 980 mb storm formed midway between the Southern Kuril Islands and the dateline tracking northeast, but no swell producing fetch was evident. By Monday AM (2/13) pressure dropped to 960 mbs as the storm lifted north with 50 kt winds confirmed over a tiny area in the storms south quadrant aimed a bit north of Hawaii and a long way away from California at 45N 170E. Seas to 22 ft were building just south of there. Also a large fetch of 55 kt winds were in the storms east quadrant aimed north at the Aleutian Islands. The whole mess lifted north on Monday evening with 55 kt winds still pushing into the Aleutians and a small 45-50 kt fetch still aimed east in the storm south quadrant near 45N 180W. Seas to 30 ft suggested. By Tuesday AM the storm was totally landlocked in the Bering Sea while high pressure held in the Gulf of Alaska at 1040 mbs. Some 30 ft seas were still modeled hanging south of the Aleutians but pushing mostly to the Pacific Northwest and targets north of there. Some decent sized utility swell to push southeast towards Hawaii arriving Thursday (2/16) holding into Friday with longer period energy and smaller size pushing into California on Friday into Saturday.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (2/16) the models indicated high pressure in control for the coming week and beyond. Of concern was one centered right in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska at 1040 mbs ridging south to a point midway between Hawaii and California. There were no indications of any impending strong north winds along the California coast until maybe Tuesday of next week when the high starts to ridge into Oregon. but another 1044 mb high is to be building in right behind it, continuing the lockdown of the Gulf of Alaska.
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 high pressure to really get a strong foothold over the North Pacific. By Tuesday (2/22) the one cell off the US west coast is to be holding at 1040 mbs while a second equally impressive one forms just west of the dateline at 1036 mbs totally blanketing the North Pacific in their influence. Two weak cutoff lows are to form south of it the highs, one off California and another over the dateline. Both lows are to form gradients as they interact with dominant high pressure to the north, generating east winds covering much of the North Pacific. There remains some minor hope for windswell from the California gradient aimed at Hawaii Tues/Wed, but it will be rather raw and warbled.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Details to follow...
Mavericks Surf Contest and Stormsurf
- Science hangs 10 at Surf Contest: CNET - Read it Here
- Pillar Point Unique Conditions swell Mavericks Monsters: Rough seabed, winds and seas currents to create California biggest surfing challenge; San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here
- Tyler Smith's Quest: Chasing the Moby Dick of the Surfing World: San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here
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