Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
On Thursday (5/16) North and Central CA had surf in the waist to chest high range and pretty warbled, all just pure local north windswell. Down in Santa Cruz surf was waist high with a few bigger sets and clean inside the kelp but generally weak looking mostly like windswell. Southern California up north was knee to near thigh high and clean but weak and warbled, looking mainly like windswell. Down south waves were waist to chest high with maybe a few bigger sets and lightly textured but not bad. Hawaii's North Shore was knee high and clean, still a little bit of swell in there. The South Shore was getting the start of Swell #1S with waves shoulder to maybe head high at 11 AM but inconsistent and not exactly remarkable, but was definitely up by sunset with pure swell to 4 ft @ 19 secs. The East Shore was getting some tradewind generated east windswell at waist high and chopped with trades on it.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
In the North Pacific the only rideable surf being generated was from windswell, a mix of locally generated variety with background energy also coming from the Gulf of Alaska relative to the US West Coast. And even less tradewind generated windswell was occurring for Hawaii's Eastern Shores. A mini pulse of westerly windswell from a gale that was off Japan generating 15 ft seas late Tues into Wed AM (5/15) is expected into the Islands over for the weekend.
Longerterm and relative to California, the local coastal gradient is to meander through the weekend producing rideable windswell but nothing remarkable, then wake up decently early next week and expected to hold for the entire workweek producing 30+ kt north winds and larger local windswell. Maybe some better trade winds east windswell for the Islands late in the workweek too.
And if one is to believe the models, a gale is to wrap up off Japan on Saturday (5/18) producing up to 45 kt west winds and 30 ft seas. Seems hard to believe, but certainly worth monitoring.
But the big story remains the gale that developed and tracked northeast from under New Zealand on Thurs (5/9) producing up to 38 ft seas while approaching French Polynesia, then faded early Sat (5/11) with seas dropping from 34 ft while moving to within 1500 nmiles of Tahiti. A small second pulse developed Sunday (5/12) with 34 ft seas aimed well north with yet another pulse developing Mon-Tues (5/14) with 34-36 ft seas tracking again well to the northeast but positioned more southerly. And yet one more pulse of 30-32 ft seas developed Tues-Wed (5/15) providing yet more swell energy radiating north and northeast. Tahiti has already done quite well so far from this swell. Decent size is expected for Hawaii by this evening (Thursday). And moderate sized swell should result for the US West Coast over the late weekend, with well rideable surf expected holding through the coming workweek if not a little more. All this swell energy is already in the water, so we're just waiting for it's arrival at this point. Enjoy it while you can. Details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Surface Analysis - On Thursday (5/16) weak high pressure was located over the dateline and off California at 1024 mbs generating no fetch of interest other than the generic summer time pressure gradient along Central CA producing 20 kt north winds resulting in weak but rideable short period local north windswell. Limited northwest windswell originating from weak low pressure previously in the Gulf of Alaska was also hitting the US West Coast in the 9-10 sec range but buried under the more locally generated and shorter period windswell. Trades continued over the Hawaiian Islands at 15 kts too producing minimal east windswell.
Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast through Saturday relative to the US West Coast, but with trades fading relative to Oahu later Friday with a non-closed isobar low developing north of the Islands but not resulting in any fetch of interest. On Sunday (5/19) high pressure is to build over the East Pacific setting off the normal pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino resulting in building north winds there at 25 kts reaching down to Pt Conception, with local north windswell on the increase.
One more pulse of energy occurred near the dateline on Tues (5/14) associated with persistent low pressure there and tracking east generating seas to 15 ft at 43N 175E. Limited northwest windswell from it possibly arriving on Oahu by Sat (5/18) at 2.4 ft @ 12 secs (2.5 ft) pushing 3 ft @ 11 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) early Sun AM (5/19).
Of far more interest is a gale already starting to form off Japan tracking slowly northeast. It is forecast to build Sat AM (5/18) with 45 kt west winds over a modest sized area and seas building from 25 ft at 41N 160E, even a long ways from Hawaii. 40-45 kt west winds to hold into the early evening with seas building to 32 ft at 41N 166E (310 degs Hawaii). Fetch is to be fading from 30-35 kts Sun AM (5/19) with seas fading from 26 ft at 40N 169E. Will believe it when it happens. But if it does, a nice small pulse of westerly swell could result for the Islands. Something to monitor.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Tropical Storm Alvin was centered 660 nmiles south of Puerto Vallarta Mexico with sustained winds 45 kts and tracing effectively west. It is forecast to continue on this heading with winds building to 50 kts by evening and holding into Sat Am (5/18) then fading, dissipating late Monday (5/20). No swell is expected to be produced from this system. Otherwise no tropical systems of interest were occurring.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (5/16) weak low pressure was moving into the Pacific Northwest with a weak front clearing through Central CA in the morning. Light rain was even experienced in the San Francisco Bay Area. Modest north winds were occurring along the coast with the worst of it centered near Point Conception (20+ kts). Friday a generic 15 kt flow is forecast building over the North and Central coasts late and building to 20 kts solid later Saturday. Southern CA to remain protected. By Sunday the gradient is to start ramping up with north winds 25 kts early and 30 kts late over Northern CA but again southern CA is to remain protected. By Monday winds to back off some at 25-30 kts near Cape Mendo and 20 kts down the Central Coast. But that is to be the weakest of it. By Tuesday (5/21) 30 kt north winds to be pushing down the North coast late with 25 kts winds nearshore for the Central Coast. 25 kt north winds to be pushing down the Canadian coast too. High pressure at 1036 mbs building in the Gulf of Alaska. Southern CA to remain protected. Wednesday 35 kts north winds forecast for the San Francisco area with 30 kt north winds for all to North and Central CA moderating some Thursday but still 25-30 kts. Southern CA to remain protected in the mornings, but not by mid-day Wednesday (5/22) and beyond.
Jetstream - On Thursday (5/16) the jet was again split over New Zealand then merging into a single flow over the Central Pacific with remnants of a trough fading there and moving over the Southeast Pacific with 130 kts winds feeding into it offering a little support for gale development. Over the next 72 hours the same basic pattern is forecast but with the trough continuing to moderate and almost gone by Sat (5/18). Beyond 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is to start splitting from the northern branch over the width of the South Pacific and falling south while loosing energy. No troughs of interest are forecast with a pure zonal flow (split and parallel to each other) expected offering no real support for gale development.
Surface - On Thursday (5/16) all eyes remained on the New Zealand Gale and subsequent fetch generated by it (see New Zealand Gale below). It was actually still generating 45 kt southwest fetch and seas to 36 ft at 58S 145W (193 degs NCal, 195 degs SCal and unshadowed by Tahiti, east of the HI swell window) but all energy was pushing almost flat east. Background energy to be radiating northeast towards the US West Coast, but will not qualify as a 5th Pulse. Over the next 72 hours that fetch is to push east and dissipate by Thurs PM (5/16) with seas from previous fetch fading from 32 ft at 58S 134W (189 degs SCal, 187 degs NCal). More background sideband energy expected to result, but mainly targeting Chile, but too far east for significant class swell even there. Additional 35-40 kts fetch to move over the Southeast Pacific Fri AM (5/17) generating more 32 ft seas at 51S 132W (189 degs SCal, 187 degs NCal) targeting mainly Chile with sideband energy heading north towards the US West Coast. 40 kt west winds to hold into the evening with 30 ft seas moving to the eastern edge of the California swell window at 54S 124W and racing east.
On Friday AM (5/17) yet another fetch is to develop southeast of New Zealand tracking flat east with west winds 45 kts and seas building to 32 ft at 57S 172W. In the evening 45-50 kt west winds are to continue tracing flat east generating seas at 33 ft at 58S 160W. A tiny fetch of 45 kt west wind to push east Sat AM (5/18) with seas still 34 ft at 57S 142W pushing east in the evening with seas 34 ft at 57S 125W. This fetch to be gone by Sun AM (5/19). Yet more sideband background swell is possible for the US West Coast (204 degs initially and barely shadowed by Tahiti then becoming unshadowed and moving on to 180 degrees) and Hawaii (181-187 degs) if all goes as forecast.
New Zealand Gale - Swell #1S
On Thursday AM (5/9) a modest gale started to develop while tracking under New Zealand moving into an upper level trough producing an area of 45 kt southwest winds down at the surface and seas building from 28 ft at 58S 172E. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the southern flank of this gale at 18Z and confirmed seas at 31.1 ft with one readying to 37.4 ft where the model suggested 30 ft seas. The model was under calling it some. Thurs PM the gale tracked northeast with fetch building to the north pushing up into the South Pacific with winds 45-50 kts southeast of New Zealand targeting Hawaii and seas to 37 ft at 54S 177E (39 ft at 06Z at 51S 179W - 189 degs HI, 212 degs NCal, 213 SCal and shadowed by Tahiti).
Additional 45 kt pure southerly winds held while lifting north Fri AM (5/10) generating more 36 ft seas at 51S 175W. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the northern side of the fetch and reported seas 31.5 ft with one reading to 36.7 ft where the model indicated 34-36 ft seas. Looks like the model was over hyping it some. Also the model reported 38 ft seas at 18Z at 51S 173W (189 degs HI, 209 degs NCal and shadowed, 212 SCal and shadowed). A broad fetch of 35-40 kt southerly winds held in the evening with 36 ft seas lifting north at 48S 168W (187 degs HI, 209 degs NCal and shadowed, 211 SCal and shadowed).
A small area of 45 kt south wind was building Sat AM (5/11) with seas 33 ft over a good sized area at 44S 164W (184 degs HI, 209 NCal shadowed, 211 SCal shadowed). Southerly fetch was fading from 40-45 kts in the evening wrapped around the gales core with seas fading from 32 ft at 40S 155W (181 degs HI, 205 NCal shadowed, 209 SCal and barely shadowed) with secondary fetch building to 40 kts south around the core of the gale and another off of New Zealand.
On Sun AM (5/12) a modest fetch of 45 kt southwest winds were wrapping around the core of the gale and also tracking northeast off New Zealand with seas building to 32 ft at 43S 160W (181 degs HI, 207 NCal shadowed, 210 SCal shadowed). By evening winds were fading from 40 kts as the core of the low retrograded to the south with seas fading from 33 ft over a moderate area well to the north at 36S 152W (east of the HI swell window, 205 degs NCal shadowed, 208 SCal unshadowed).
Some solid degree of decent sized 17+ sec period swell is radiating northeast having already hit Tahiti (with 17+ ft Hawaiian surf on Mon-Tues (5/21) with secondary swell moving towards Hawaii and the US West Coast. The early part of this fetch was unshadowed for North California by Tahiti but fully shadowed for Southern CA, then moving well into the shadow and remaining there barely becoming exposed for Southern CA late in it's life.
Hawaii: Expect a few sets to arrival on Wed (5/15) at sunset with perhaps swell of 1.4 ft @ 22 secs (3 ft). Swell building through the day Thurs (5/16) pushing 3.3 ft @ 18 secs late (6 ft with sets to 7.5 ft). Swell to hold nicely on Fri (5/17) at 4.0 ft @ 17 secs early (6.5 ft with sets to 8.0 ft or more). Additional new energy from the second pulse of this storm (see details above) hitting Sat AM (5/18) at 3.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.5 ft with sets to 7.0 ft) with residual energy from the previous pulse still 3 ft @ 15 secs (4.5 ft). Combined swell fading Sunday at 3.6 ft @ 15 secs early (5.5. ft with bigger sets) with the third pulse pulse (see below) building underneath to 2.6 ft @ 18 secs late (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft). 2nd and 3rd pulses of the swell fading Monday (5/20) from 3 ft @ 16-17 secs (5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) with energy from the 4th pulse starting to build in late afternoon (1-2 ft @ 19 secs - 3.5 ft). 4th Pulse peaking early Tuesday AM (5/21) at 2.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (4 ft with sets to 5 ft) with swell from previous fetch fading from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.5-4.0 ft) early. Swell Direction: 1st Pulse: 180-189 degrees, 2nd Pulse: 180-181 degs, 3rd Pulse: 182-188 degs, 4th Pulse: 181-196 degs
Southern CA: Expect the first small signs of this swell arriving Friday (5/17) near 11 PM with swell 1 ft @ 21-22 secs (2 ft) and size barely noticeable. Period dropping to 20 secs near 8 AM Saturday (5/18) with swell becoming rideable at 1.5 ft @ 20 secs (3 ft with sets to 4 ft) and 2 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft with sets to 4.5 ft). Swell starting to peak near noon Sunday as period hits 18 secs and holding through the evening with period 17-18 secs. Pure swell possibly 3.0 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading but still decent at 3 ft @ 16 secs (4.8 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) with the second pulse from the gale (see details above) hitting neat 5 AM Mon (5/20). Pure swell Monday AM at 2.5-2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) fading some late. Swell fading Tuesday AM (5/21) from 2.4 ft @ 16 secs (3.8 ft sets to 5.0 ft). Energy from the third pulse hitting near 7 PM and starting to peak on Wed (5/22) near 3 AM at 2.3-2.4 ft @ 17 secs (3.9-4.1 ft with sets to 5.1 ft) and much lesser sized and period energy intermixed. Swell fading Thurs AM (5/23) but new energy building underneath from the 4th pulse late afternoon, peaking near 5 AM Friday (5/24) at 2.2-2.4 ft @ 17 secs (3.7-4.1 ft with sets to 5.1 ft). Residual energy fading Saturday into Sunday. Swell Direction: 1st Pulse: 210-213 degrees, 2nd Pulse 204-209 degs, 3rd Pulse 208-210 degs, 4th Pulse 206-215 degs.
Northern CA: Expect the first small signs of this swell arriving Friday (5/17) near 11 PM with swell 1 ft @ 21 secs (2 ft) and size barely noticeable. Period dropping to 20 secs near 10 AM Saturday (5/18) with swell becoming rideable pushing 2.0 ft @ 19 secs late (3.5 ft with sets to 4.5 ft). Swell starting to peak near noon Sunday as period hits 18 secs and holding through the evening with period 17-18 secs. Pure swell possibly 2.9 ft @ 17-18 secs (5.0 ft with sets to 6.5 ft). Swell fading but still decent with the second pulse from the gale (see details above) hitting neat 7 AM Mon (5/20). Pure swell Monday AM at 2.5-2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft with sets to 6.0 ft) fading some late. Swell fading Tuesday AM (5/21) from 2.4 ft @ 16 secs (3.8 ft sets to 5.0 ft). Energy from the third pulse hitting near 10 PM and starting to peak on Wed (5/22) near 5 AM at 2.3-2.4 ft @ 17 secs (3.9-4.1 ft with sets to 5.1 ft) and much lesser sized and period energy intermixed. Swell fading Thurs AM (5/23) but new energy building underneath from the 4th pulse late afternoon, peaking near 5 AM Friday (5/24) at 2.2-2.4 ft @ 17 secs (3.7-4.1 ft with sets to 5.1 ft). Residual energy fading Saturday into Sunday. Swell Direction: 1st Pulse 208-211 degrees, 2nd Pulse 202-207 degs, 3rd Pulse 206-208 degs, 4th Pulse 203-213 degs.
New Zealand Gale (Part 3)
A tiny secondary fetch of 55 kt southwest winds built south-southeast of New Zealand Sunday evening (5/12) producing 34 ft seas over a tiny area at 59S 175E. 45 kt southwest winds raced northeast Mon AM (5/13) producing up to 36 ft seas over a tiny area at 53S 171W (188 degs HI, 209 degs SCal and becoming unshadowed, 208 degs NCal and shadowed). The fetch raced northeast in the evening fading from 40 kts with seas 34 ft at 47S 161W (182 degs HI, 208 degs SCal and unshadowed, 206 degs NCal and shadowed). This system was gone by Tuesday AM.
Another small pulse of 17-18 sec period swell has developed radiating northeast providing sideband swell for Tahiti then arriving in Hawaii (on Sun 5/18 with period 18 secs - see forecast above) with more direct but highly decayed and shadowed energy for California (arriving Wed AM 5/22 see details above). It will likely just look like a continuation of the existing swell.
New Zealand Gale (Part 4)
The final pulse of the storm developed on Tues AM (5/14) producing 45 kts southwest winds over a small area generating seas to 30 ft at 53S 176E (196 degs HI, 215 degs SCal and shadowed, 213 degs NCal and unshadowed). The fetch pulsed some Tuesday PM still at 45 kts and covering a broader area with seas to 32 ft at 48S 168W (187 degs HI, 212 degs SCal and shadowed, 209 degs NCal and moving into the Tahiti Swell shadow). Fetch was fading Wed AM (5/15) from 40 kts and aiming more flat east with seas 32 ft at 48S 157W (181 degs HI, 207 degs SCal and unshadowed, 203 degs NCal and moving east of the Tahiti swell shadow). By evening all fetch was gone except a small new fetch of 45-50 kt mostly west winds. Seas were fading from 29-30 ft at 48S 150W and of no real interest.
Yet another small pulse of 17 sec period swell energy is to be radiating northeast targeting Hawaii on Tues AM (5/21) with 17+ sec period energy. Swell to start moving into California Thurs PM (5/23) peaking Fri AM (5/24) with period 17 secs (see details above). It will likely just look like a continuation of the existing swell.
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 the normal summertime local windswell producing gradient is forecast building along the North and Central California coast on Monday with north winds to 25-30 kts building to 30 kts late Tuesday (5/21) with additional 25 kt fetch building off British Columbia. yet more winds to 35 kts are forecast over Cape Mendocino Wed (5/22) fading some and loosing some coverage Thursday but still 30 kts. If this were to occur windswell with some size could be expected for all nearshore California locations. Of course this would trash the southern hemi swell expected to arrive at the same time at exposed breaks.
For Hawaii's East Shores, trades are forecast re-developing in the 15 kt range east of the Islands by Thurs (5/23) associated with the California gradient, possibly holding and resulting in a slight increase in easterly windswell for the Islands.
Note: The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equatorial Pacific it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slack if not an outright reversal of trade winds and enhanced precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
As of Thursday (5/16) the daily Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) was up hard to 35.64. The 30 day average was up to -0.29 with the 90 day average up at 5.24. Overall this is neutral territory and not indicative of El Nino, with the upward trend a likely lagging indicator of the Inactive Phase of the MJO that is already starting to fade.
Current equatorial wind analysis indicated moderate east anomalies over the Maritime Continent weakening some on the dateline and holding half way almost to Central America before fading to neutral. No change from the previous report. The Inactive Phase of the MJO was still in control. A week from now (5/24) neutral anomalies are to be in control over the Maritime Continent and dateline regions turning to slight west anomalies south of Hawaii then neutral into Central America. This suggests a quickly fading moderate episode of the Inactive Phase of the MJO should take over. But still, this is the most activity we've seen from the MJO in a while.
The longer range models (dynamic and statistical) run on 5/15 are in general agreement, but contradict reality. Both suggest a weak Active Phase of the MJO pattern was already in control over the far West Pacific, though there's no evidence of that in any other data. The Dynamic model has the Active Phase fading in 5 days then turning Inactive 8 days out and building 15 days from now to moderate strength. The Statistic model has the Active Phase in play now and holding for 15 days, slightly weakening along the way. That seems preposterous. Regardless, the assumption is we are returning to a stronger MJO cycle with some sort of MJO activity building over the next 2 weeks. But whether its Active or Inactive is yet to be seen.
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). As of now (5/16) a very La Nina looking pattern has emerged in the East Pacific over the equator with much cooler water tracking north up along the South American Coast turning west at Ecuador extending to the Galapagos Islands and pushing west from there. This looks like a real La Nina cold pool at this time, or maybe just a precursor to what has developed into a strong Inactive Phase of the MJO. It's almost as if this cold pool developed before anomalous east winds started blowing over the West Pacific. The question now is: "Will those cold waters moderate and disperse or will they stay in-place?". It's too early to know. Interestingly the plume of slightly cooler than normal water that has been radiating southeast off California tracking near Hawaii to the equatorial dateline for 2 years has finally closed off. Warm water is filling the entire Northeast Pacific basin. This is a reflection of the collapse of high pressure that has dominated the East Pacific. But that is likely to be short lived with high pressure expected to return with a vengeance by next week (5/20). Subsurface waters temps on the equator continue indicating a pool of cooler water (-2.0 deg C) in place at 150W and down 150 meters, blocking the transport path. A building pocket of slight warmer water appears to be backing up in the West Pacific, typical of La Nina. In short, temperatures on the surface are not warming and if anything are cooling, while the subsurface path is blocked by cooler water, not doing anything to transport warm water eastward, even if there was warm water to transport. The only good news is the coastal pattern off the US mainland suggests somewhat lower higher pressure and cooler water temps, all signs of a weak La Nina-like pattern. Interestingly the falling SOI (both daily and 30 day average) suggests something else is in play. It's still a very mixed pattern with no clear long term signal suggesting either El Nino or La Nina.
Projections from the CFSv2 model run 5/16 indicate water temps have bottomed out (in May) near normal (+0.0 degs C). A gradual rebound to the +0.20 degree C level is possible over the summer holding through Fall to Jan 2014 with little change over the duration. A consensus of all the other ENSO models suggest near normal water temps into Summer and early Fall 2013 with no warming indicated. We are in the Spring Unpredictability Barrier where accuracy of all the ENSO models is historically low. But by mid-June we'll be clear of that barrier and will have a better handle on the long term outlook. So for now the outcome is uncertain, but not trending towards anything that would be considered warm. Historically, if a warm water buildup indicative of any significant El Nino pattern were to occur, it would be starting to happen by now (normally would start building in Feb-Mar). That is clearly not the case for this year. Expect a neutral pattern for Winter of 2013-2014.
We are in a dead neutral ENSO pattern with neither El Nino or La Nina imminent. But that is a far better place than previous years (2010-2011 and 2011-2012) under the direct influence of La Nina. We had expected a normal number of storms and swell for the 2012-2013 winter season, but that did not materialize with the pattern looking more like La Nina than anything. This past season was more of a 3 rating than the 5 that was predicted. That said, there was good consistency, with the west dateline area very productive and almost machine-like. But the storms were very small in areal coverage and rarely made enough eastern headway to reach over the dateline. The result was very westerly but reasonably sized utility class swells for the Islands with far smaller and more inconsistent swell energy for the US West Coast. Longer term the expectation there will be at least one year of neutral to slightly warmer temps (2013-2014) ultimately converging in a stronger warmer pattern and possible El Nino 2-3 years out (2014 or 2015). And historically, this is the 'normal' pattern (a few years of false starts post La Nina before a legit El Nino forms).
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool and more details in the El Nino Update Last Updated 10/6/12
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch of interest is forecast.
Details to follow...
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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The Mavericks Invitational Big Wave Surf Contest is scheduled to air on CBS on Thurs (2/7) at 7 PM (PST) replaying again on Sunday (2/10) at 7 PM. Set your DVR.
'CBS This Morning' with the Mavericks Invitational Surf Contest - See a nice morning TV show piece on the Mavericks Contest held Sun 1/20/13. The show aired Wed 1/23. Interviews with Colin Dwyer, Jeff Clark, Mark Sponsler and Grant Washburn: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50139546n
Jaws Redbull Contest Forecast Explained By Stormsurf
Cortes Bank Mission (12/21-12/22/2012)
The Making of 'Chasing Mavericks' - See some background footage on how the movie was made: Part1, Part2
The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing with Greg Long - A must see for any aspiring big wave rider: http://vimeo.com/51117940
Greg Long XCel Core Files - Here's a great profile of Greg Long and his contributions toward pushing the state of big wave surfing. Well Done - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd9pqgiXfxk&feature=player_embedded
Chasing Mavericks - The Jay Moriarty Movie: Two trailers for the new movie about Jay, Frosty and Mavericks has been posted. Movie opens on 10/26/12. Here's the link: http://www.mtv.com/videos/movie-trailers/818957/chasing-mavericks.jhtml & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdYoX9Vfxg&feature=relmfu
Props from the Pros: Stormsurf was mentioned over the past week in two different media sources. One was in an interview Kelly Slater did with the New York Times and another was in a promotional piece Ramon Navarro did for the Big Wave World Tour. Many thanks to Curt Myers from Powerline Productions for alerting us and of course thanks to Kelly, Ramon and the Tour for using our service. Here's the links:
Steve Colleta Surfboards - Check out surfboards by local shaper Steve Coletta - A long time Santa Cruz local and master shaper. Progressive shapes for North and Central CA waves http://www.naturalcurvesboards.com
Chasing the Swell has been nominated for a Webby Award. See details of this great piece of video journalism below. Some say this is the "Oscars" of online awards.One of the awards is voter based. If you have a moment, please cast your ballot by going to: http://webby.aol.com, register, then click on the "Get Voting" tab and then to the "Online Film and Video" > "Sports" category and vote for "Chasing the Swell".
Timmy Reyes - Curt Myers from Powerlines Productions found this little gem with Timmy Reyes providing a brief statement about which sites he uses for swell chasing. Thought we'd pass it on. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P30ZCQOsYwY
Buell Wetsuits - When surfing in Santa Cruz, we've been seeing a new wetsuit in the line-up worn by many top flight surfers. They're getting good traction and are well respected. Take a look: http://www.buellwetsuits.com/
Stormsurf Mobile App (1/9/11) We are proud to announce the official public release of our smartphone mobile app. It provides access to our most popular and commonly used products, optimized for use on the road, on the beach or anywhere you don't have a desktop or laptop. With a smart phone and signal, you will have access to our data. And we're not talking just a few teaser products - We're talking full feature wave models, weather models, real-time buoy data, manually built forecasts and hundreds of spot wave and wind forecasts enabling you to construct a surf forecast for any location on the planet, all from your cell phone and all for free. No subscription required and no hidden fees. And better yet, there's a few new things sprinkled in that are not yet available even on our full-featured web site. From your smart phones browser just navigate to: www.stormsurf.com/mobile
Chasing The Swell: Sachi Cunningham from the LA Times spent the entirety of last winter chasing surfers and swells around the North Pacific with her high def video cam. Her timing couldn't have been any better with the project exactly coinciding with the strongest El Nino in 12 years resulting in the best big wave season in a decade. And being an accomplished surfer herself helped her to bring a poignant and accurate account of the what it's like to ride big waves and the new (and some not so new) personalities that are revitalizing the sport. This is must-see material for any surfer or weather enthusiast. Check it out here: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/chasingtheswell/
New Weather Models With the activation of our new server we have now released a new block of weather models including North America jetstream, wind and precipitation, local coastal wind forecasts in 1 hr increments and snow and mountain wind forecasts in both 1 and 3 hours increments. The new animations can be found here (look for those items tagged with the New! icon): http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wx.html
New Weather Model Server Stormsurf has installed another weather model production server. This has enabled us to spread the load across more servers allowing us to post both wave and weather model updates much quicker. Also we are testing new content (like North America jetstream, winds and precipitation, local wind forecasts in 1 hr increments and snow and mountain wind forecasts in both 1 and 3 hours increments). The model menus will be updated shortly with these new links.
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New Wave Model Facts: Click HERE to read more about the new wave models. Important info.
Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here
Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here
Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table