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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: May 31, 2006 9:19 AM
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 = 3.0 - California & 4.8 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 5/29 thru Sun 6/4
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   

Waiting for Swell #2S
Weak Possibilities to Follow

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (5/30) Northern CA surf was up to waist high and clean early. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were near flat. Central California surf was thigh high and windblown in the afternoon. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to thigh high at the best spots,with most flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high with maybe some waist high sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high and weak. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high with sets to chest high at the best breaks. The East Shore was 2 ft, tradewind generated windswell.

Not too much going on in California today with no swell of interest in the water other than a few stray waist high sets at the best breaks. Hawaii was also in the doldrums with the North Shore shut down for the summer and only minimal southern hemi background swell along the South Shore. Fortunately a little bit more southern hemi swell remains scheduled to arrive later this week from under New Zealand providing something decent to ride. But the most interest was being generated by Swell #2S and a pair of follow on pulses, currently pushing over the equator towards Central America first, then scheduled to arrive in California late in the workweek. 5 days of solid swell to result. Beyond that the models keep teasing for more Southern Hemi energy, but are highly unstable. See details below...

 

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (5/30) indicated no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific to be accomplished on an exception basis.

At the surface on Tuesday (5/30) high pressure at 1024 mbs remained off Central California generating a moderate northerly flow along most of the California coast at 15-20 kts then sweeping southwest and west towards and just south of Hawaii, forming the trade wind there. A weak low pressure system was in the Gulf of Alaska at 1000 mbs but was not generating any wind of interest. Over the next 72 hours that low to possibly generate some 20-25 kts winds over a fragmented area off North California possibly generating some small window, but not much expected. Otherwise no swell generation potential suggested.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (5/30) high pressure remained in control off the South/Central CA coast driving a 20-25 kt northwesterly flow centered near Pt Conception with lesser winds over local waters north of there up to Pt Reyes and south of there into Northern Baja, but not having enough fetch length to create any swell of interest other than short period windswell. That to start fading as low pressure in the Gulf gets a better hold locally Wed/Thurs. That low to theoretically produce 25-30 kt westerly winds sweeping over the outer fringes of the North/Central CA swell window Thurs-Sat driving some 11-12 ft seas our way, with the low pushing inland Sunday. Fortunately calmer winds to prevail over California nearshore waters. But new high pressure to build right behind on Sunday (6/4), ushering more northwest winds back into the area by late Sunday through the early part of next week with the fetch lifting north heading for Cape Mendocino mid-week. Brisk northwest winds to be building over north/Central CA nearshore waters as the gradient moves north.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Tuesday (5/30) a split jetstream flow remained in-place over the South Pacific with energy spread evenly between the two streams. The southern stream was flowing basically zonal (flat west to east) hovering right over the boundary between the Ross Ice Shelf and clear ice-free waters to the north. The jet only pushed north of the ice in the far Southeastern Pacific, where it was also merging with the northern branch of the jet forming a trough, but it was nearly well east of the California swell window and approaching moving over Chile. In short, not support for surface level storm development suggested in our forecast window. Over the next 72 hours no change forecast with the southern branch actually loosing energy to the northern branch and hanging right over the ice/ocean boundary. Beyond 72 hours the southern branch is to drift a little further north providing some hope, but a weak zonal flow to persist, not providing any big troughs or energy to support surface level storm development.

At the surface on Tuesday (5/30) all swell producing gale activity was isolated to the far Southeastern Pacific just off Chile and outside the California and Hawaiian swell windows. High pressure at 1024 mbs was over the Tasman Sea but not necessarily restricting the flow of energy from the Indian Ocean into the South Pacific. A small 956 mb low is to develop southeast of New Zealand early Thursday with up to 55 kt winds, but is to be gone in 24 hours, having just enough time to build 12 hours of 30 ft seas at 58S 180W then fading fast. Maybe more small utility swell for Hawaii assuming this comes to pass. Nothing else of interest forecast.

 

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

Southeast Pacific - Storm #2S
On Wednesday AM a low started developing due south of Tahiti (east of the Hawaiian swell window) with pressure 964 mbs and winds confirmed at 50 kts over a small area at 60S 150W aimed 25 degrees east of the 194 degree path into California. By evening pressure was down to 954 mbs with a moderate fetch of 50-55 kt southwest winds confirmed centered at 55S 135W aimed just 20 degrees east of the 186 degree path to California. Not too bad. Seas were building fast at 32 ft centered at 61S 145W. The Jason-1 satellite made passes around the periphery of the fetch late evening, but not directly through it. Those readings supported the numbers coming from the wave model though. On Thursday AM the storm fetch was lifting northeast with pressure 964 mbs and 720 nmiles of 50 kt winds centered at 48S 123W aimed 20 degrees east of the 182-185 degree paths to California. This was decent, though not exceptional. Seas were modeled at 40 ft over a tiny area at 58S 132W. By nightfall the low continued lifting rapidly northeast with south winds barely 50 kt over a tiny area at 48S 114W though mostly 40-45 kts outside the NCal swell window with a little energy still aimed at SCal up the 178 degree paths. 35 ft seas modeled aimed towards CA on the very eastern edge of the swell window at 52S 123W, gone by Friday AM.

Another pulse of energy developed right behind the main storm through the day Friday (5/26) tracking fast to the east and generating 24 hours of 32-35 ft seas at 60S 132W-118W. This has generated a secondary pulse of swell energy expected to follow right behind the main swell, though smaller and hardly distinguishable from the main pulse, just prolonging it's life.

On Sunday (5/28) yet another small 968 mb low developed under the trough established in the upper atmosphere in the Southeast Pacific. Winds were in the 40-45 kt range through the day pushing northeast and fading below 35 kts Monday (5/29) but aimed more to the north on the eastern edge of the California swell window. Seas modeled to 30 ft at 53S 132W Sunday evening moving to 48S 127W Monday AM, then faltering. Another third small pulse of southern hemi utility swell expected for California and points south of there a week out.

A small significant class swell has been generated and is pushing north and east towards California, Central America and northern South America. This was a rather short lived system with only 36-48 hours of effective fetch, but that fetch was traveling well to the northeast building momentum towards the aforementioned targets with a little virtual fetch in play, perhaps helping to add a bit higher number of waves per set in the 17-20 sec band of this swell. Still nothing exceptional, just solid fun.

South California: Expect swell arrival late Wednesday (5/31) with period at 20 secs and swell to maybe 1 ft right before dark (2 ft faces). Swell to be much more noticeable by Thursday AM (6/1) with period 19 secs and swell small but building reasonably quickly through the day to 3.3 ft @ 18 sec by sunset (5.5-6.0 ft faces with best breaks to 7.5 ft). Swell to continue upwards from there, maxing Friday (6/2) at up to 4.2 ft @ 17 secs (6.5-7.0 ft faces with sets to 9 ft at best breaks), holding through the day. Decent size though a little less punchy to continue Saturday with swell 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (6.0-6.5 ft faces with sets occasionally to 7.5 ft at the best breaks) but heading down. Sunday to see swell of 3.6 ft @ 14 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces) and heading down. A secondary pulse to arrive early Monday (6/5) with swell building to 4 ft @ 15 secs (5.5-6.0 ft faces) holding at 4 ft @ 15 secs Tuesday (5.5-6.0 ft faces) as the third pulse arrives. This pulse to have a little more westerly direction on it (10 degs) than what is indicated for the main pulse. Swell Direction: 183-188 degrees

North California: Expect swell arrival Thursday AM (6/1) with period 19-20 secs and swell small but building through the day to 2.3 ft @ 19 sec by sunset (3.5-4.5 ft faces with best breaks to 5 ft). Swell to continue upwards from there, peaking Friday (6/2) at 4.2 ft @ 17 secs right before sunset (7.0-7.5 ft faces with sets to 9 ft at the best breaks). Swell to continue solid Saturday at 4 ft @ 16 secs early (6.0-6.5 ft faces with best breaks up to 7.5 ft). Things heading down on Sunday with swell 3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) with maybe some residual energy into Monday. A secondary pulse to arrive Monday (6/5) with swell building to 3 ft @ 16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces) fading from 3 ft @ 15 secs Tuesday (4.0-4.5 ft faces) as the third pulse arrives. This pulse to have a little more westerly direction on it (10 degs) than what is indicated for the main pulse. Swell Direction: 182-187 degrees

 

Hawaiian Pulse
On Tuesday evening (5/23) a 972 mb low formed well south of New Zealand over the Ross Ice Shelf producing 45- 50 kt winds edging slowly over exposed water north of there. By Wednesday 32 ft seas were modeled at 62S 160E in the 200 degree swell window for Hawaii with winds dropping to 40-45 kts on Thursday and seas up to 35 ft free-and-clear at 61S 178E (191 degree HI) pushing towards Hawaii and less-so to California. A rapid decay set in thereafter with no winds or seas of interest.

Small swell from this system scheduled to push into Hawaii starting Thursday afternoon (6/1) reaching 1.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (2 ft faces) building to 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces) on Friday (6/2). Swell to peak on Saturday (6/3) at 3.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (4-5 ft faces with sets to near 6 ft at top spots). Swell fading fast on Sunday from 3 ft @ 13 secs (4 ft faces). Swell Direction 190-200 degrees

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a low is forecast to develop off the Kuril Islands this weekend tracking east over the dateline into the Western Gulf of Alaska by Tuesday (6/6) possibly generating 25-30 kt west winds aimed at the Pacific Northwest, but odds are very low of that actually occurring. No other swell source suggested.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a 948 mb storm forming in the deep Central Pacific Friday (6/2) forming a broad fetch of 40-45 kts winds with near 50 kt winds imbedded within aimed east-northeast or well east of Hawaii and only marginally better towards California. Seas building to 35 ft at 60S 150W. This system to track rapidly east through Saturday out of the California swell window while building seas to 38 ft early at 60S 137W fading to 35 ft late. Some hope for swell generation for both Hawaii and California from this systems, but the big assumption being that it actually forms at all. The models have been highly unstable from run to run and day to day, so nothing is certain. Another weaker storm to follow directly from under New Zealand, but that's even more uncertain.

Details to follow...


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