On Sunday (3/25) Northern CA surf was shoulder to head high and relatively clean for a change. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high. Central California surf was waist to chest high and sloppy. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh high. 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 waist to chest high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore had waist high windswell.
North/Central California was getting some local windswell mixed with fading remnants from the Gulf of Alaska. Southern California was getting a little bit of energy from the Gulf of Alaska, but pretty well shadowed at most breaks. Hawaii was getting a little bit of weak swell from the dateline, but that will be heading down. The future is not very bright for the North Pacific. One last little low is forecast off North California on Monday expected to produce sizeable windswell for that area, then it all shuts off. Kinda early for the time of year, but that's what it looks like for now. Fortunately the southern hemisphere has already produced one decent storm with 2 more on the charts to follow. So at least summer breaks in both California and Hawaii will start waking up and providing something to ride. Make the most of it cause it's all we're going to have for the foreseeable future. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (3/25) for the North Pacific depicted a horribly weak and unorganized flow over the width of the Pacific with a weak ridge pushing the flow over the Aleutians near the dateline and no change forecast for the next week. The only exception was a little trough in the far eastern Gulf of Alaska expected to build Monday as it pushes onshore over Central CA in the evening with winds up to 140 kts. This one should support development of a gale at the oceans surface, that's it.
At the surface today high pressure at 1032 mbs was positioned 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii with very weak low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska and another over the dateline. No swell producing fetch was indicated anywhere in the North Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf low is to drop south and east just off the Oregon coast by Monday (3/26) morning with pressure 1004 mbs generating northwest winds to near 40 kts aimed well towards North and Central CA, pushing briefly to 45 kts mid-day, then starting to fade late and positioned just 300 nmiles off Pt Arena. Seas building to 25 ft in the evening off Cape Mendocino. The fetch to move almost right over San Francisco by Tuesday AM and dissipating with strong high pressure moving in right behind making for local northwest winds 25-30 kts through the day over the entire state. 23 ft seas forecast off San Francisco in the morning moving down to Pr Conception in the evening at 21 ft. Pure unadulterated large windswell is the expected result in North and Central California with swell 13 ft @ 13-14 secs (15-17 ft faces) and 6 ft @ 12 secs (6-7 ft faces) in Southern CA just after sunset with horrible conditions everywhere.
Beyond 72 hours anything resembling a storm pattern is to totally fade away with no swell producing fetch forecast anywhere in the North Pacific aimed at any of our forecast areas. The North Pacific to shut down and go into hibernation.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (3/25) weak high pressure was trying to ridge into the state at 1018 mbs, but wasn't doing much with the core of the high northwest of Hawaii and making for locally light winds. On Monday a local low to be building just off the coast with a front pushing south over the state making for southerly winds and rain. By Tuesday the front and the gale to push through with high pressure building in strong right behind, making for very strong north winds along the coast at 25-30 kts with large chop in control both north and south, trying to simmer down on Wednesday by not making it with north winds still 20 kt early. Things settling down Thursday with a northerly flow 15 kts up north and near calm down south, and even less on Friday. Light winds all locations Saturday then maybe new high pressure and northerly winds building in Sunday up north.
In the South Pacific a reasonably consolidated jetstream flow was tracking south of New Zealand with winds up to 150 kts but not impressive by any means. Over the next 72 hours it's to get better defined though only at 130-140 kts flowing nicely from under New Zealand then ridging just a bit south of Tahiti, dropping gradually south is as it moves east. Beyond 72 hours that same general pattern is to hold, though with a steeper trough in the west feeding into a bit more pronounced ridge in the mid-Pacific. Some support for gale or development looks possible in the Southwest Pacific through the week.
At the surface a storm was developing under New Zealand (see 2nd SPac Storm below). This one to be the only swell producing source over the next 72 hours. A storm preceded it too on Thursday (3/22) (see 1st SPac Storm below).
1st SPac Storm
On Thursday (3/22) a 960 mb gale was situated south of New Zealand generating 40-45 kt west winds and 30-32 ft seas near 58S 170E-180W aimed 65 degrees east of the 190-195 degree great circle paths to Hawaii but not too bad up the 211 degree paths to California (but a long ways away).
It's tracked east Friday AM (3/23) and regenerated after fading late Thursday with winds up to 50-55 kts at 56S 175W aimed northeast or 45 degree east of the 190 degree path to Hawaii and 15 degrees east of the 208 degree path to California but well shadowed by Tahiti. Seas were 30 ft at 57S 180W. In the evening winds were still 45-50 kts over a broad area at 50S 153W almost out of the Hawaiian swell window (180 degrees) but moving clear of the swell shadow at 200-203 degree relative to California. Seas built to 36 ft @ 53S 162W and unshadowed. A little 45 kt winds energy remained early Saturday AM (3/24) at 52S 150W aimed due north aimed right up the 198 degree path to California with seas 37 ft at 50S 153W, then fading in the evening.
This one looks well capable of producing a solid dose of utility class summer time swell for California from the second half of this storm with decent sideband energy pushing up towards Hawaii. Nothing exceptional in that the storm was short lived, kinda on-and-off, but still got a decent footprint and generated solid seas. Tahiti to get a very solid shot of swell too. Expect swell arrival in California starting Sunday (4/1) with swell 2.3 ft @ 18 secs down south (4 ft faces) and 2 ft @ 18 secs up north (3.5 ft faces) from about 200 degrees. Swell pushing up on Monday/Tuesday (4/3) to the 3 ft @ 16 secs range (4.5 ft faces) then heading down from there. Swell to hit Hawaii's southern shores late Thursday then up to 2.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces) Friday (3/30) slowly fading from 2.3-2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) Saturday (3/31) from 196-200 degrees.
2nd SPac Storm
On Saturday (3/24) a 952 mbs storm started developing under New Zealand with 50-55 kt west winds at 60S 165E aimed 70 degrees east of the 196 degree path to Hawaii and 20 degrees east of the 211 degree path to California. Seas were barely 32 ft. The storm pushed east with winds down to 45 kts on the same heading as before with seas up to 36 ft at 60S 175E over a moderate area.
Winds held at 45 kts Sunday AM (3/25) but aimed a little more to the northeast at 45 kts at 61S 180W aimed 15 degrees east of the 205 degree path to California and shadowed by Tahiti 45 degrees east of the 190 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 38 ft at 60S 180W. In the evening the gale to be pushing more to the northeast with winds still 45-50 kts aimed a little more northeast still. Seas forecast to 40 ft at 58S 168W.
On Monday AM (3/26) the gale to decay a bit with an elongated area of 40-45 kts winds near 58S 155W generating 40 ft seas at 56S 156W aimed about 15 degree east of the 198 degree path to California and unshadowed but well off any path to Hawaii. More of the same in the evening with winds 45 kts at 52S 149W with seas 38 ft at the same locale. All this to be heading towards California just off the 198 degree path.
This system to be effectively gone and stretched well to the east by Tuesday (3/27).
This looks to be another utility class swell producer for Hawaii a week out and maybe just a shade bigger than the one before it for California 9 days later if it develops as forecast. Will monitor.
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 no swell producing fetch of any kinda forecast for the North Pacific.
Beyond 72 hours the models suggest yet a third storm developing south of Tahiti Thursday (3/29) with near 60 kt winds and seas to 40 ft but of a much smaller area into Friday. Not bad for so early in the year.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table