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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: June 10, 2006 12:54 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 = 2.0 - California & 3.9 - 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 6/12 thru Sun 6/18
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   

New Zealand Storm Falters
North Pacific Gale On Track

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Saturday (6/10) Northern CA surf was waist high blown out junk. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were near flat. Central California surf was knee high and clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were thigh high with a little south wind on it early. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh to waist high at the better breaks on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high pushing chest high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was thigh to waist high. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was flat.

A new little south swell is starting to show along the California coast, but the operative word is small. Fortunately that size is to increase marginally through the weekend an become decently rideable by Monday. Hawaii had a little combo of northwest windswell and small southern hemi swell this Saturday, but nothing too exciting. A series of larger pulses to follow providing decent swell starting mid-week from a 2 gales/storms that tracked under New Zealand to the Central Pacific, but both far less intense than what the models hyped them to be earlier. California to see some of this energy too but the Tahitian Swell Shadow will take a whack off the top of it first. Also an extratropical storm tracked from Japan across the dateline Thurs-Sat (6/10) providing Hawaii with a rideable shot of late season northwest swell for early next week. Another strong storm is modeled Mon-Wed (6/13) in the extreme Southeast Pacific targeting California (especially Southern CA) and Central America, but that projection will likely be downsized as we get closer to it actually happening. At least the South Pacific is consistently producing something to ride, but confined mostly to the utility class range. But we'll take it, cause that's certainly better than nothing. See details below...

 

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Saturdays jetstream charts (6/10) indicated a surprisingly robust flow for the time of year pushing west to east with a mild trough straddling the dateline with 130 kts winds flowing under it. Some support for surface level low pressure development here expected to continue into Tuesday. A return to a pure zonal (flat) flow is expected by Wednesday through next weekend. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is now on an exception basis through the summer.

At the surface on Saturday (6/10) weak disorganized low pressure was in the Gulf of Alaska with the fading remnants of a tropical low fading out over the dateline [see below] (west winds there down to 25-30 kts and fading fast). Otherwise the usual bit of north winds were blowing down the North and Central CA coast at 15-20 kts with lighter than normal traders over the Hawaiian Islands. In general, and uneventful day. Over the next 72 hours a calm pattern forecast other than a weak low starting to spin up north of Hawaii late Monday (6/12) with all fetch aimed north towards Alaska.

Dateline Low
On Wednesday (6/7) an extratropical low pushed east off Japan and started building, with winds confirmed to 50-55 kts over a small area centered at 38N 160E by nightfall. By Thursday AM pressure dropped to 984 mbs with 45-50 kts west winds still confirmed in it's south quadrant targeting Hawaii from 38N 167E. These winds held at 40 kts aimed west through Friday AM at 39N 1757 then dropped to the 30-35 kts range through Saturday AM. Seas 21-25 ft were modeled Thurs/Fri pushing up to the dateline and over it to 38N 175W Sat AM then fading pushing energy down the 300-320 degree great circle routes to Hawaiian north and west shores. Jason-1 satellite data confirmed 23 ft seas on the periphery of the fetch area Friday AM at 173E 38N, right on track with the models if not a little higher. No real swell expected for California from this one though some traces could show up Wednesday (6/14).

Small to moderate utility swell for Hawaiian north and west shores Mon/Tues (6/12-13) at 3.4-3.7 ft @ 13-14 secs - 4.0-4.5 ft faces.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (6/10) weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was well west of Northern CA with weak low pressure between it and the coast. A weak northerly flow was in place along the North and Central coasts, unremarkable. No big change forecast through Wednesday, and if anything a weakening of the north flow forecast Mon/Tues. by Wednesday high pressure to try and take control at 1026 mbs centered northeast of Hawaii just reaching our coast. Northwest winds again in the picture at 15-20 kts but confined to the immediate coast with no swell producing effects suggested, and holding through Saturday (6/17).

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Saturday (6/10) a split jetstream flow remained in-place over the South Pacific with most energy contained in the northern branch. A big ridge that was pushing the southern branch over Antarctica in the east was fading with a decent trough still in place over the west (southeast of New Zealand) with 120 kt winds flowing over it. This area south of New Zealand was the most favorable for storm development. Over the next 72 hours the two branches of the jet are to merge just east of New Zealand then start diving south strongly, suggesting that a major ridge is to form in the Central Pacific totally shutting down any storm development in the region by Tuesday (6/13). But further east a big trough to sets up in the far Southeast Pacific providing more support for storm development there. Beyond 72 hours a major steep trough is to start pushing well to the north on the 110W line with 160 kts winds flowing through it, providing good support for storm development in the region through Thursday (6/15). At the same time a new energetic trough to start building under Tasmania pushing east to New Zealand by next weekend. Good support for surface level storm development there.

At the surface on Saturday AM (6/10) a series of non-swell producing low pressure systems were tracking across the mid-South Pacific while high pressure had a lock on the upper latitudes. Over the next 72 hours the next window of opportunity arises late Sunday (6/11) as the split jetstream flow aloft starts to merge just east of New Zealand. A 964 mb storm to form there (due south of Hawaii) tracking southeast with 50-55 kts winds aimed along the direction of travel towards Antarctica. By Monday AM pressure to be 956 mbs with 55-60 kts winds in place over a small area aimed northeast to east at 55S 145W pushing 45 degree east of the 190 degree path to California. Seas building to 37 ft at 54S 149W, well outside the window for Hawaii. The low to start tracking northeast in the evening with a solid 60 kt fetch modeled at 55S 130W aimed 45 degrees east of the 185 degree path to California. Seas modeled building to 41 ft @ 54S 135W. Tuesday AM (6/13) the storm to start fading with pressure up to 972 mbs with 55 kts winds at 52S 120W aimed 45 degree east of the 179-182 degree path to California, heavily favoring the south end of the state. 46 ft seas forecast at 53S 123W. 45 kt fetch to hold into the evening at 42S 115W aimed 35 degree east of the 179 degree path to SCal with nothing to reach into NCal. 45 ft seas modeled at 45S 116W. This fetch to be gone by Wednesday AM with residual 41 ft seas at 40S 110W. If this comes to pass a very solid swell to track into Central America with solid energy pushing up into California focusing on San Diego and Orange County areas. But there is much opportunity for the models to change there minds 5 times between now and then, and little expectation this outcome will materialize.

 

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

Another Pulse
On Wednesday (5/31) a low developed south of New Zealand with pressure 960 mbs and winds 45 kts, up to 55-60 kts that evening. Seas built to 30 ft at 62S 180W. On Thursday AM pressure was 948 mbs with winds continuing in the 50-55 kt range aimed mostly due east, almost perpendicular to any great circle route to Hawaii and only marginally better for California. But seas built to 38 ft ft over a tiny area at 63S 165W. A rapid decay set in through the day Thursday with no swell producing fetch left by evening and seas fading from 32 ft at 60S 160W. There were hints of residual 30 ft seas into Friday at 58S 158W, but with winds only 35 kts in the area, most of that was just decaying energy from previous days fetch rather than freshly generated seas.

Swell to push into South CA starting Saturday (6/10) reaching 2 ft @ 18 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft faces) maxing Sunday with swell 3 ft @ 17 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces) (but likely something less), then heading down from there. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees

Swell to push into North CA starting Saturday (6/10) reaching 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft faces) maxing Sunday with swell 2.6 ft @ 17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) but likely something less, then heading down from there. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees

 

New Zealand Storm
On Tuesday AM (6/6) a 968 mb low was starting to develop directly under New Zealand with winds confirmed at 50-55 kts over a tiny area at 60S 165E aimed northeast up the 195 degree path to Hawaii and the 212 degree path to California. Seas building. By evening winds were down to the 50 kts range over a tiny area at 57S 175E aimed 25 degrees east of the 194 degree path to Hawaii and right up the 210 degree path to California. Seas were building. By Wednesday AM a small area of 40 kts winds remained at 51S 169W aimed well north of the 187 degree path to Hawaii and a bit north of the 209 degree path to California. Seas were 32 ft at 55S 180W. A rapid decay set in Wednesday evening with winds down to 30-35 kts and no additional swell production occurring. Seas from previous fetch still to 32 ft at 52S 168W and fading. Nothing to be left by Thursday AM with 29 ft seas at 50S 160W early and fading fast.

Hawaii looks to be well set up to receive a good moderate dose of swell from this system. The big concern for California is that much of this fetch was shadowed by Tahiti tracking into both North and Southern CA. For now we're only projecting decent surf for Hawaii.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Tuesday (6/13) with swell up to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft faces). Swell to head up over night reaching 4.0-4.3 ft @ 14-15 secs for Wednesday afternoon (5.5-6.0 ft faces). Swell continuing Thursday at 4 ft @ 14-15 secs (5.5-6.0 ft early, fading late). Swell Direction: 187-194 degrees

 

Slightly Stronger New Zealander
A 968 mb low to formed late Thursday (6/8) under New Zealand with a broad but fragmented fetch of 40 kt winds confirmed at at 54S 168E right on the edge of the swell window for Hawaii (201 degrees) and aimed a bit too east, but aimed well at California up the 216 degree path. By Friday AM pressure was 964 mbs with a solid area of 45 kts winds centered at 53S 175W aimed 70 degrees east of the 190 degree path to Hawaii and 45 degrees east of the 210 degree path to California, shadowed by Tahiti. Seas built to 29 ft at 53S 174E. The gale held into the evening with pressure 956 mbs and a small fetch of 40-45 kts at 52S 165W aimed 70 degree east of the 185 degree path to Hawaii and 35 degrees east of the 205 degree path to California, emerging from under the Tahitian swell shadow. Seas to 32 ft at 51S 171W. The Jason-1 satellite passed right over the fetch and confirmed 31 ft seas in it's core, actually a bit less than what was modeled. Looking at the QuikSCAT wind data, this appears accurate, indicating the wave models are on the high side. 35-40 kt southwesterly fetch continued Saturday AM at 50S 157W with sideband energy likely pushing to Hawaii up the 179 degree path but most focusing 30 degrees east of the 200 degree path to California, unshadowed. Seas 32 ft at 50S 160W emerging from the Tahitian swell shadow for California with sideband energy pushing to Hawaii up the 180 degree path. The gale to be gone by Saturday night with residual 30 ft seas modeled at 49S 150W, unshadowed at 197 degrees.

This gale, not even a storm, was much less intense than modeled day before, Instead of 40 ft seas we ended up with 32 ft seas, and that mostly shadowed from California by Tahiti. Hawaii was by far best positioned to receive swell from this system, though much of that energy to be indirect since winds were aimed well east of the Islands. At this time solid utility class energy looks possible for the Islands, with the mainland getting something far less.

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Friday morning (6/16) building to 2.6 ft @ 16-17 secs by sunset (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Swell building through the day Saturday peaking before sunset at 4 ft @ 15-16 secs (6.0-6.5 ft faces). Swell Direction 185-195 degrees

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the weak low pressure system forecast north of Hawaii Monday (6/12) to build Tuesday (6/13) producing a limited spurt of 35-40 kt west winds aimed towards the Pacific Northwest. Windswell possibly to result with some size if this fetch really develops.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest little activity with a big ridge holding down the Central Pacific. Small bits of storm energy are to try and emerge from under New Zealand, but none are to make it with enough zeal to provide anything but background energy for Hawaii.

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

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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