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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: June 13, 2006 9:20 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   

Storm #3S Due South of SCal
Gulf Gale Forecast too

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (6/13) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to near chest high on the sets. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were maybe thigh high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high pushing chest high at the better breaks on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was head high. The South Shore was chest to head high. The East Shore was near flat.

Small bit's of weak southern hemi swell combined with weak northwest windswell and weak energy from the dateline expected in California through the week, with northwest windswell starting to build into the weekend and beyond. A gale in the Gulf of Alaska is forecast to produce windswell by late in the weekend, but it's to be lost in a more dominant local chop swell forecast at the same time. Hawaii to see a solid run of south swell through the week with near significant class swell expected, then starting to settle down by early next week, but not out. A big storm is starting to develop south of California (north of Antarctica) with much energy forecast to be pushing north, but a bit east of the state. Also a storm is forecast for the Tasman Sea providing some hope for Hawaii, but that's ways off. In general, a fairly decent pattern for now if you look in the right places with better energy coming with some luck. 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 (6/13) indicated a moderate trough over the dateline with 140 kts winds flowing under it. It's to push into the Gulf of Alaska by late in the workweek providing some support for surface level low pressure development through the weekend, then totally fading out. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is now on an exception basis through the summer.

At the surface on Tuesday (6/13) a neutral pressure pattern was in place over the West Pacific. In the East high pressure at 1024 mbs was between Hawaii and Oregon driving a weak northerly flow along the California coast mostly south of Pt Conception. Weak low pressure at 996 mbs was trying to move into the Gulf of Alaska. No big change forecast until Thursday when high pressure starts building north of Hawaii fueling north winds along the California coast while low pressure in the Gulf starts building to 992 mbs. The gradient between these two system to generate 25-30 kt northwest winds then up to 30-35 kts Friday into early Saturday with 20-21 ft seas modeled pushing towards the coast. Sizeable windswell possible (by Summer standards) for North and Central CA Sunday, but local north winds courtesy of the Hawaiian high pressure system to really take their toll.

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/13) moderate high pressure at 1026 mbs was west of Pt Conception and starting to build. North winds to be the result, spreading northward from Southern CA today into the northern regions by late Wednesday but not horribly strong just yet (15-20 kts). But by late Friday 20 kts winds to be the norm nearshore up to 30 kts offshore from Pt Conception northward with a full scale Cape Mendocino gradient in effect by Sunday with 30-35 kts winds forecast there. No let up forecast through mid-next-week but at least the north winds are to start pulling away from the Central coast Monday and then south of Pt Reyes by Tuesday (7/20). Rather large local windswell to result next week if this materializes.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Tuesday (6/13) a consolidated jetstream flow was in-place over the South Pacific, with a big ridge diving south over the Central Pacific to the Antarctic ice line then lifting north just as fast in the east with 150 kt winds flowing into it. Decent support for surface level storm development suggested. Over the next 72 hours this trough to be the major area of interest with a split flow again returning to the West Pacific and a ridge remaining over the Central Pacific. The trough in the east to peak on Wednesday with 170 kt winds flow due north up the 120W longitude line and slowly drifting east to 110W on Thursday, then fading out. Support for storm development likely. A big ridge to be building over the entire South Pacific behind it through Wednesday (6/21) with no support for storm development suggested.

At the surface on Tuesday AM (6/13) strong high pressure at 1032 mbs was over the Central Pacific diving south blocking the storm corridor and eliminating any chance for swell development west of it. In the far east a big storm was developing, and it plus a smaller follow on gale are to be the only source for swell development over the next 72 hours.

 

Storm #3S (South California)
On Monday AM (6/12) a new storm developed in the Southeast Pacific outside the Hawaiian swell window but in the California swell window. Pressure was 960 mbs with a small fetch of 55 kts winds aimed mostly east at 52S 135W pushing 45 degree east of the 190 degree path to California. Seas building to 30 ft at 55S 142W. The low started tracking northeast in the evening with a solid 60 kt fetch confirmed at 51S 124W aimed 30 degrees east of the 182 degree path to NCal/185 SCal. Seas modeled to 37 ft at 52S 123W. Tuesday AM (6/13) the storm bloomed a bit covering more area with pressure 960 mbs with 50-55 kts winds at 48S 120W aimed 15 degree east of the 179-182 degree path to California, heavily favoring the south end of the state. 44 ft seas were modeled at 49S 119W. A broad area of 45 kt fetch to hold into the evening at 42S 115W aimed 25 degree east of the 178 degree path to SCal with nothing reaching into NCal. 47 ft seas modeled at 45S 114W. This fetch to be gone by Wednesday AM with residual 42 ft seas at 44S 110W. No clean Jason-1 satellite passed occurred over the fetch area through this storms life.

So far this storm is looking reasonably impressive from a pure meteorological perspective. The issue is it's position in the ocean relative to California. For the most part it didn't start producing decent seas until it was out of the NCal swell window. This shifts the focus to Southern California and Central America. Large seas are being produced tracking on a fairly northerly course, setting their sights on Central America (Costa Rica) into Peru. Still, significant class well is expected to reach into Southern CA with lesser energy wrapping into the most exposed Northern CA breaks.

Detailed surf forecast to be posted once the storm completes it's lifecycle.

 

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

 

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 low pressure forecast in the Gulf of Alaska to dissipate late in the weekend (6/18) with high pressure taking over, continuing to fuel the Cape Mendocino gradient and generating north winds and windswell well into next week. 40 kt winds forecast there early Tuesday (6/20).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest another gale forming in the East Pacific Thursday (6/150 tracking east producing 24-36 hours of 40-45 kt winds aimed northeast towards California. Some degree of swell could result, but it's way too early to tell with any certainty.

Also on Wednesday (6/14) a small but strong 964 mb storm is forecast developing south of Tasmania with up to 55 kt south winds pushing up into the Tasman Sea through the day. This storm to track east passing over the southern tip of New Zealand Thursday with residual 35-40 kts fetch pushing un through the Tasman Sea then dissipating on Friday. 37 ft seas modeled Thursday with 32 ft seas fading through the day Friday tracking up through the Tasman Sea. Large swell possible for Fiji with much less energy passing there heading towards Hawaii, but well filtered by Fiji and surrounding Islands, assuming it forms as forecast.

Beyond that a much more tranquil pattern indicated.

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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