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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: February 26, 2006 5:41 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 = 2.2 - California & 2.0 - 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 2/27 thru Sun 3/5
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   

Gale off Pacific Northwest
Gulf Gale to Follow Directly

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (2/26) Northern CA surf was maybe waist high. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf was flat. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was flat. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were flat. The North Shore of Oahu was thigh high. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was waist high.

It's the end of February and the only spot with surf is, believe it or not, the South Shore of Oahu. Is that strange or what? Bit's of tiny southern hemi swell are to continue for the Shore Shore too, but nothing to get too excited about. Meanwhile a rather stormy pattern is forecast off the California coast with a series of generally weak but wet gales forecast to pull up to and over the coast for the coming week. Southern California is to get especially soaked in the first onslaught of this system. Mid-week a gale is forecast to drop out of the Gulf towards California providing more potential swell from a northwesterly direction. Hawaii's Northeast Shore has some windswell heading it's way too from the early incarnation of the gale currently off California. But in all nothing looks particularly appetizing. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream (2/26) continued in a massively split mode, even worse than last week, with no change expected. The split point now was just west of Taiwan near 115E with the southern branch tracking due east over Hawaii then into Central Baja while the northern branch pushed northeast over the Kuril Islands and across the Aleutians, but then dipped sharply south off Northern Canada to a point 1000 nmiles west of Pt Conception. Only this little area held any potential for support of surface level storm development. Over the next 72 hours into Wednesday (3/1) the split in the jetstream is to remain very pronounced, though the split point is to ease back out in to the Pacific a tad, reaching 140E. No big change anticipated with the best potential area to support surface level gale development being the persistent trough in the eastern Gulf of Alaska. But even that to be pushing onshore over North California late Wednesday evening. Wind in all areas not to exceed 130 kts. Beyond 72 hours the split point is to continue pushing east a bit, to 165E. But the Gulf trough is to dissipate with nothing replacing it and no other surface level support suggested aloft.

At the surface today high pressure at 1040 mbs was in control of the North Pacific centered in the NOrthwestern Gulf of Alaska ridging south towards Hawaii but not quite reaching there with a secondary high at 1036 mbs just off the Northern Kuril Islands also ridging south. 2 low pressure system were underneath these highs, one on the dateline at 1004 mbs driving 35 kt east winds towards Japan and the second and most notable one (though ill defined) off the Pacific Northwest and California driving 30-35 kt south fetch parallel to the California coast and north winds in it's western quadrant at 30-35 kts aimed towards Hawaii. In fact the QuikSCAT satellite confirmed a tiny fetch of 40-45 kts winds Saturday PM at 45N 141W aimed just east of the Big Island continuing into Sunday AM. Windswell was being generated from both these fetch areas, with the fetch aimed at Hawaii producing 22 ft seas and the fetch off California also producing 22 ft seas (confirmed by buoy 46059). Windswell to result from both these areas (see QuikCAST for details).

Over the next 72 hours the low off California is to continue spinning producing a mix of unremarkable north winds aimed progressively more toward the east of Hawaii at 30-35 kts while south winds at 30 kts continue aimed into California. At the same time the whole low is to be pushing inland over California through Tuesday AM (2/28). Up to 29 ft seas are to be generated by the north winds tracking east of Hawaii through Monday night while seas generally in the 16 ft range are to push into California. Hawaii stand the best chance to receive something rideable from this system while California to see junky short period windswell.

Also on Monday (2/27) a new 986 mb low is to set up in the extreme north Gulf of Alaska tracking southeast into North CA by Friday (3/3). A solid fetch of 40 kt winds are forecast in it's southwestern sector aimed well from Central CA northward and just inside the northern edge of the swell window with some suggestion of sideband energy also aimed a bit east of Hawaii initially. This fetch is to travel towards California through the workweek, holding strength at 40 kts Tuesday producing 29 ft seas heading down the 312 degree great circle path to NCal with sideband energy to Hawaii.The fetch to fade in size though holding intensity Wednesday with 30 ft seas projected aimed towards NCal down the 308 degree path but no energy heading towards Hawaii. Winds fading to 35 kts Thursday 1100 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino producing more 29 ft seas early but aimed a bit south of the 292 degree path to NCal but better down the 301 degree path to SCal. This whole mess to fade out while pushing into California on Friday with 20-22 ft seas tracking down and just off the coast. Sizeable but raw swell to be working it's way first into North CA Thursday then into South California Friday and holding with size through early Saturday (3/4).Sideband energy to push into Hawaii on Friday too.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (2/23) the models continue to indicate high pressure in control through Saturday (2/25), then a big change sets up with strong south winds and rain the norm for North and Central California and pushing south into South CA by Monday (2/27). Clearing expected over the south half of the state by Wednesday (3/1) but inclimate weather to persist in the north through the workweek. Certainly a change from the bulletproof blue skies of late.

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 another small 986 mb low is to develop in the southeast most Bering Sea tracking towards the Gulf of Alaska late next weekend (Sunday 3/5) possible setting up westerly winds in the Gulf and generating windswell for the days beyond, but this is far from certain. Otherwise no swell producing fetch suggested with high pressure at 1028 mbs forecast centered 1200 nmiles northwest of Hawaii and locking down the prime swell generation corridor.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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