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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: April 13, 2006 9:48 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 = 3.2 - California & 2.5 - 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 4/10 thru Sun 4/16
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   

Gulf of Alaska to Get 2 More
South Pacific to Stir Also

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Thursday (4/13) Northern CA surf was 2-3 feet overhead and clean at the right spots, though the swell itself was a bit warbled. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high. Central California surf was shoulder to head high and reasonably clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were head high to 1 ft over at the best spots with others in the chest high range. The LA Area southward to Orange County was shoulder to head high with sets to 1 ft overhead at the better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were also chest to head high with sets 1 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high and fading. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was head high plus from northeast windswell.

Two more gales are charted for the Gulf of Alaska over the next week, focusing equally on Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest. The first one is just starting to move into position so odds are decent for it to play out as expected, though the second one is just a charted gale with no swell producing fetch materializing just yet. Also a gale is forecast for the Southeast Pacific early next week focused well for California, but only limited sideband fetch pushing towards Hawaii, and even that is optimistic. In all a reasonably active pattern still in effect for the Eastern Pacific, especially considering the time of year. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Thursdays jetstream (4/11) had significantly deviated from previous days as has been forecast. The track flowed near flat from the Northern Kuril Islands east over the Aleutians with only a slight dip indicated as it passed over the Gulf of Alaska with winds to 130 kt over a small area, then pushed into Vancouver Island only to veer sharply south bulging slightly off Southern CA, then tracking back east pushing into Pt Conception. The only trough/area of interest was the dip over the Gulf of Alaska. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (4/16) the Gulf trough to remain the only area of interest while a flat/zonal pattern prevails over the Western Pacific with all energy landlocked from the Aleutians northward. The Gulf trough is to slowly sag south and east driving over North California by Sunday but with less areal coverage over open waters, and most energy pushing inland towards Canada. Winds to steadily decline over the period dropping to 90 kts. Some support for surface level gale development suggested. Beyond 72 hours that trough/dip is to push inland by Monday (4/17) while another trough tries to develop in the exact same area but making less southward progress (if any) though winds are forecast up to 130 kts there again, likely supporting some form of surface level gale development. In parallel a new trough is to be developing off Kamchatka pushing rapidly east reaching the dateline a week out as the Gulf trough pushes inland over Southwest Canada. Winds in the dateline trough to be fairly weak though, in the 120 kt range, perhaps supporting some form of weak gale, but it's way too early to tell with any certainty.

At the surface on Thursday (4/13) high pressure ruled supreme over the bulk of the North Pacific centered on the dateline at 1032 mbs ridging west towards Japan but not quite making it there and ridging southeast towards California and Hawaii having most affect on the later. The only low pressure of interest was a new gale just barely edging into the northern Gulf of Alaska but still half over the Alaskan mainland (see details below). Over the next 72 hours that to be the only swell producing system forecast, while high pressure over the core of the North Pacific directs all eastbound systems from Siberia on a route north and east through the Bering Sea.

On Thursday (4/13) a 984 mb low was developing in the extreme northern Gulf of Alaska expected to drop southeast while interacting with strong high pressure at 1032 mbs north of Hawaii. By evening this gradient to be generating a broad fetch of 40-45 kts northwest winds setting up over exposed waters of the Gulf. The low to track southeast Friday impacting the Central Canadian coast late with 30-35 kt winds continuing over exposed waters east of there. Seas to peak at 30 ft for a brief interval early Friday positioned on the very northern edge of the North CA swell window (315+ degrees), then start fading though some degree of 25-30 kt fetch to be pushing southeast through the Gulf through Saturday. Seas to fall below the 20 ft threshold early Sunday. All winds to be pushing on a very north angle towards North CA, even less well setup for Central CA. Rough data suggests rather large (for the time of year) swell with period in the 14 sec range pushing into North CA early Sunday (4/16) with swell 9-10 ft @ 14 secs (12-13 ft faces at exposed breaks) but well shadowed with even less energy pushing into Central CA.

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

California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/13) satellite and model data indicated a short break in the soggy south wind dominated pattern that has dominated the past 6 weeks. But by late Saturday (4/15) that to fade with south winds returning to the north coast in advance of the next gale pushing out of the Gulf of Alaska. Sunday to be a mess in the north fading as the front works it's way down to Point Conception with high pressure building-in right behind on Monday. Associated 15 kt northwest winds to settle in over the entire state through Thursday of next week, typical of a spring-time pattern.

The detailed 5 Day wind forecast is included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
No swell producing fetch was present or forecast to occur.

On Thursday (4/6) a 972 mb gale was developing midway between Tasmania and New Zealand in the Tasman Sea starting to produce some winds. By the evening pressure dropped to 964 mbs with 50-55 kt winds even pushing 60 kts briefly developing in it's west quadrant aimed north towards Fiji and Hawaii beyond. This system dissipated through the day Friday with winds down to 45-50 kts and 40-45 kts in the evening then 30-35 kts by Saturday AM. 35 ft seas peaked Friday AM down to 32 ft in the evening holding Saturday AM, the fading fast from 30 ft in the evening. Swell expected to push into Fiji starting Sunday AM (4/9) (California time) peaking late Monday at 7.6 ft @ 15 secs (10-11 ft faces - 15-17 ft at the better reef breaks) and still 8.3 ft @ 15 secs Tuesday (12-13 ft faces - 18-19 ft faces best reef breaks) then doing a slow decay through Thursday. Swell heading towards Hawaii, arriving Friday (4/14) with swell 2 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft faces) peaking late Saturday (4/15) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). No energy to reach California.

No other swell producing system forecast.

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 two more lows are forecast for the Gulf of Alaska. The first to form Monday (4/17) on the dateline dropping just south of the Aleutians with 35-40 kts northwest winds pushing over exposed waters of the western Gulf of Alaska generating a brief burst of 32-15 ft seas positioned well north of Hawaii pushing south and east towards California the Hawaiian Islands. A rapid decay to set in over the early morning hours of Tuesday with winds fading below the 35 kt threshold at sunrise and seas fading below 25 ft by sunset. If this comes to pass, decently groomed moderate size swell to push south and southeast into both the Hawaiian Islands and North CA by Thursday (4/20) tracking down the CA coast over the next 12-24 hours.

A similar low and associated fetch to develop a bit further west over the dateline late Wednesday (4/19) generating 40-45 kts northwest fetch aimed at Hawaii and California. 25 ft seas forecast.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a tiny primer storm is forecast deep in the mid-South Pacific Sunday (4/16) followed by a broad 952 mb gale on Monday maxing Tues/Thurs with 35-45 kts winds aimed well to the north east tracking from 150W to 120W with 32 ft seas suggested in the 50-45S region. If this develops moderate 17 sec period swell would push well towards California and regions south of there with maybe some sideband energy reaching into Hawaii. That's still quite a ways away though.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

New Content - QuikCAST's and Satellite Altimetry: Stormsurf has been busy this winter putting some new things together. First up is two new QuikCAST's for the Northeast US Coast, one for Cape Hatteras-to-Virginia Beach and another for New Jersey-to-New York. Check them out Here
Also we now provide Jason-1 Altimetry data overlaid on our Wavewatch III wave models. Take a look Here

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

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

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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