On Thursday (6/14) Northern CA surf was 1-3 ft overhead and marginally cleaner. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to chest high. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was near flat even at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to maybe chest high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to near chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was chest to head high on the rare sets. The East Shore report was not available.
North/Central California continued getting decent locally generated north windswell. Southern California was getting minimal wrap-around windswell from off Cape Mendocino. Hawaii was getting into the meat of the last pulse of southern hemi swell expected for sometime. That swell originated from a tiny fetch mid-last week off eastern New Zealand. Minimal energy from this one is to push into California too. Otherwise moderate windswell is expected along the California coast and the eastern shores of the Hawaiian Islands and to become the only thing rideable after southern hemi swell fades out early next week. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (6/14) for the North Pacific indicated a very weak flow ridging up the Kamchatka Peninsula into the Bering Sea and totally landlocked. It dipped south of the Aleutians near the dateline then flowed flat east through the Gulf of Alaska, but so weakly as to be ineffective at having any influence towards supporting gale development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge in the west is to push east and shut down even that minimal trough that was running through the Gulf. Beyond 72 hours the west is to remain covered in the ridge while a bit of a trough tries to carve itself out in the Gulf again mid-next week with winds theoretically building to 120-130 kts for an instant or two between Tuesday and Thursday (6/21). Limited support for low pressure development in the Gulf if this occurs.
At the surface today high pressure at 1026 mbs was 900 nmiles west of Pt Conception CA generating a 25 kt northerly flow over waters off Pt Reyes producing limited short period windswell. This high was also generating moderate easterly trades pushing towards the Hawaiian Islands at 20 kts setting up limited short period windswell along eastern shores. A secondary high at 1032 mbs was diving south out of the western Gulf of Alaska, providing a clue as to what's coming. No low pressure of any interest was present in the North Pacific. Over the next 72 hrs the same pattern to hold but with the secondary high pressure joining forces with the existing high, setting up abroad pool of high pressure at 1032 mbs filling the southeastern Gulf of Alaska into the weekend. The net result is to be northerly winds at 30-35 kts Sunday (6/17) building over Cape Mendocino setting up good potential for local windswell while a slowly moderating flow of 20 kt northeast winds push towards Hawaii providing limited support for windswell generation there.
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked at this time.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (6/14) the Cape Mendocino gradient was is good shape producing 30 kt north winds and the usual seas pushing south towards Central CA. More of the same is forecast through the weekend and Monday (6/18) with a healthy north flow fueled by high pressure in the Gulf of Alaska. Then a calmer period expected (though not calm) mid-next week as high pressure takes a break. But more is queued up behind it with the usual north winds machine expected back in action by late next week. None of this fetch is to reach south of Pt Conception, with generally light winds inside the Channel Islands.
Thursdays jetstream charts (6/14) for the South Pacific continued indicating a totally split flow pushing across the width of the ocean there with the southern branch ridging hard south down to the 70S latitude and up to 120 kts mid-way across the Pacific. No hints of any support for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (6/17) the ridge to give up just a bit of ground, retracking back up to maybe 65S, which isn't a whole lot. No potential for swell producing low pressure expected. Beyond 72 hours another big ridge is to develop pushing the southern branch clear over Antarctica and shutting the door even tighter, eliminating even the wildest hopes for gale development with yet another ridge modeled under New Zealand late in the week. It doesn't get much worse.
At the surface today high pressure at a whopping 1044 mbs remained in firm control of the South-Central Pacific pushing south to the 63S latitude driving the storm track flat to the south. Weak low pressure was tracking east under the high generating 40 kt fetch all aimed directly south towards Antarctica. No support for any swell development. Over the next 72 hours the high is to let up a little bit drifting northeast, then catching itself and moving back to it's former position southeast of Tahiti and at 1036 mbs ridging south to almost Antarctica and totally shutting down the South Pacific storm corridor.
Late Wednesday into early Thursday (6/7) a 960 mb low was pushing under New Zealand with much of it's fetch impacting the southern tip of the peninsula. An 18 hour fetch of 40-45 kt winds slid just east of there generating a short-lived area of 30 ft seas aimed well at Hawaii up the 200 degree great circle path. This was just enough to send limited swell northeast towards the Islands. A secondary fetch of 40 kts winds built in the same area early Friday (6/8) pushing a bit north and producing 29 ft seas.
Secondary energy arriving along South Shores of Hawaii Friday (6/15) at the same size, or 3 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft faces). Swell starting to head down Saturday (6/16) from 3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
Background swell from this system to possibly limp into both North and South California Saturday (6/16) peaking Sunday with swell 2.5 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft faces). 15 sec energy to continue at the same size Monday, then fading. Swell Direction: 213-218 degrees
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 local high pressure and windswell to continue along the California coast into Tuesday (6/19) but fading out in Hawaii. A new broad high at 1040 mbs is forecast to set up just east of the dateline at that time and slowly seeping southeast but not getting close enough to either California or Hawaii to have any impact through early Thursday (6/21). Windswell all but gone during that window. The high to finally start pushing towards California by Friday (6/22) with north winds supposedly again building off Cape Mendocino possibly setting up windswell for the weekend, but that's a reach at this early date.
Beyond 72 hours high no substantial change in the unfavorable pattern forecast, with high pressure ruling supreme over the Southeastern Pacific and everything in the Southwest Pacific diving southeast in response to the dominant high there. There weak suggestions that low pressure is to try and make a showing in the Tasman Sea late next workweek, but any fetch there is to be aimed at New Zealand proper, and not expected to take aim any further north. So it looks like we're getting well set up for a major flat spell. in fact we're already in that mode, with the last southern hemi swell of any magnitude at all already hitting Hawaii and bound for California this weekend. After that it will go flat and stay that way for at least 2 weeks, and possibly much longer.
Details to follow...
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Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html
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Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and people that make up the surf community. Check it out here: http://www.thesurfbook.com
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High Noon and Low Tide: Eric Nelson has remastered this epic Mavericks documentary covering a week of giant surf leading up to that fateful day of 12/23/94 when we lost Mark Foo. See all the footage with archived and recent interviews of all the best riders including Grant Washburn, Doc Renneker, Evan Slater, Peter Mel and more. This is a must-have piece for any serious Maverick collection. Available at local surfshops. Will be coming to an on-line store shortly.
New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table