On Thursday (5/10) Northern CA surf was a crumbly waist to chest high with light onshore wind. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was thigh to waist high. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat even at top spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh to waist high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh to waist high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was maybe waist high. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore had chest to shoulder high windswell.
North/Central California was getting small local windswell coming from the north. Southern California was getting next to nothing rideable. Hawaii was getting easterly windswell and background energy from the South Pacific. The North Pacific is quiet with nothing on the charts for the foreseeable future. Even a weak gale modeled for the Gulf over the weekend will only generate 12-14ft seas, which is not even worth looking at. The southern hemi is non-productive at the moment but the models suggest a small storm pushing under New Zealand over the weekend tracking northeast and possibly generating a small area of decent sized seas, providing summer time utility class energy for the Islands and much less for California longterm. More gale energy to follow, possibly setting up a string of moderate surf for the Hawaiian Islands and smaller energy into California. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (5/10) for the North Pacific indicated a diffuse and weak flow ridging over the dateline and providing no support for surface level gale development. Over the next 72 hours the jet over the West Pacific is to ridge north of the Aleutians while a weak trough to set up in the Gulf of Alaska with 110 kt winds flowing down into it. Limited support for low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours the trough to hold in the Gulf though weaken while a more energetic ridge is to build in the west with winds there up to 140 kts, but pushing just north of the Aleutians, eliminating any surface level swell production potential there. In all the Gulf is the best bet, and even that is very weak.
At the surface today a broad and strong high pressure system at 1032 mbs was centered 1000 nmiles due north of Hawaii ridging east to Cape Mendocino CA and west beyond the dateline. It was supporting the production of mostly normal tradewinds over the Hawaiian Islands and associated windswell on easterly shores. In the east it was also supporting the usual pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino providing small windswell down the North and Central CA coasts. Over the next 72 hrs this high is to push east and fall apart with just a portion of it left off the North California coast continuing the usual north wind flow but centered a little further south than usual off Central CA waters and making for even sloppier than normal local north windswell. Low pressure to push into the Gulf of Alaska Fri/Sat falling out of the Bering Sea generating 20-25 kt northwest winds and 14 ft seas, likely not enough to have any impact on either Hawaii or California. No other swell source suggested.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (5/10) high pressure at 1036 mbs was north of Hawaii ridging east and forming the usual summertime north wind pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino. Winds were blowing at 20-25 kts making for an unremarkable short period local windswell and providing something barely rideable at exposed breaks in North and Central CA. The fetch was confined to waters north of Pt Reyes making for reasonably clean local conditions. More of the same is forecast Friday, then the high is to weaken and surge east expanding the gradient but not strengthening it initially. The result is to be more chop in the water Saturday then more wind Sunday as the gradient builds some and holding into Tuesday of next week. Moderate bumped short period windswell to be the result. By Wednesday (5/16) the center of the gradient is to reposition itself off Pt Conception with northerly winds 20-25 kts and 20 kt winds up to Pt Reyes and south of the Channel Islands, making for more messy conditions and junked windswell.
Thursdays jetstream charts (5/10) for the South Pacific indicated a diffuse flow pushing generally well to the south at no more than 90 kts, not support of gale development. Over the next 72 hours a bit of a trough is to try and open up under New Zealand on Saturday with 120 kt winds pushing northeast and up the troughs west side, providing limited support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours (starting next Monday 5/14) energy levels to increase to 130 kts while the trough expands in size, then backing off in strength mid-week. Decent support for surface level gale development suggested. By late in the workweek the flow to start taking a more southerly tack, suggesting surface winds pushing more towards Antarctica and a commensurate reduction in swell generation potential relative to Hawaii and California.
At the surface today high pressure at 1032 mbs was in the center of the South Pacific exerting enough influence to push a series of eastward bound lows to the south, with their limited 35 kts fetch aimed towards Chile. no swell producing fetch of interest was in-play. Over the next 72 hours a new low pressure system to start developing under Tasmania on Friday (5/11) with winds pushing to 45 kts late as pressure falls to 960 mbs. By Saturday it's to push east and clear of New Zealand with 45-50 kts winds aimed well to the north through the day generating up to 40 ft seas at 56S 170E targeting Hawaii well with secondary energy towards California. The low to track east Sunday (5/13) while winds fade from 40 kts. 37 ft seas forecast at 55S 180W in the morning fading from 32 ft late at 51S 170W. Seas to fall below 30 ft Monday AM. Assuming this forms as forecast a good dose of utility class swell is expected for Hawaii with something less for California. It's really to early to make any more firm projections seeing how this system hasn't even formed yet.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hrs a weak pressure pattern to develop over the dateline while weak high pressure at 1024 mbs settles in off California supporting at weak northerly flow off the coast there and driving light to normal trades over the Hawaiian Islands with very limited east windswell the result. Low pressure to be over the Kuril's but tracking north and remaining totally landlocked with high pressure dominating North Pacific waters.
Beyond 72 hrs the models indicate another short-lived fetch to form under New Zealand Monday (5/14) with winds up to 45 kts aimed well to the northeast and generating 12-18 hours of 30 ft seas before fading out late in the evening. More utility class swell possible for Hawaii with less for California.
Yet another pulse to push under New Zealand Tuesday (5/15) generating 45 kt winds aimed northeast late then fading while turning more to the east on Wednesday. 37 ft seas forecast Wednesday morning then holding but traveling due east. Some hope here.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table