On Thursday (6/21) Northern CA surf was shoulder to head high and sloppy. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high to head high with 1-2 ft overhead sets at top spots. Central California surf was waist to chest high and clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with up to chest high sets at spots exposed to the south. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest high with up to head high sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high, maybe a little more on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was chest to head high with set ft overhead at top spots. The East Shore was waist high.
Southern Hemi Swell #3S is definitely on the downswing in Southern California, with even less in the north end of the state. Northwest windswell that has been pushing hard in the north is showing signs of weakness as well, but expected to hang on for a few more days. But the general trend is downward. Today Hawaii was waiting for one more pulse of energy, this time from the Tasman Sea, scheduled to arrive this afternoon holding decently in to Friday. Then a downward trend is forecast. Over the long haul the South Pacific is not looking very productive. A small gale is south of Tahiti pushing bare minimal energy northeast targeting CA with everything aimed too far east to have impact in Hawaii. This low to build a little Fri-Sat providing minimal hope for CA at those times, but not much with seas barely reaching 30 ft. Beyond that another stronger system is forecast in the far Southeast Pacific mid-next week, but that's pure fantasy this far into the future. Make the most of what you have now. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (6/22) indicated no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is now on an exception basis through the summer.
At the surface on Thursday (6/22) broad high pressure covered the North Pacific with one core over the dateline at 1028 mbs with a second one pushing inland over Washington also at 1028 mbs. The Washington high was generating a small area of 25-30 kt north winds centered off Cape Mendocino, CA resulting in moderate sized windswell along the North and Central CA coasts. This same high pressure system was providing moderate trades blowing over the Hawaiian Islands at 15 kts but waning. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday both high pressure centers are to drift north and east, resulting in decreased trades over the Hawaiian Islands and a diminishing of the gradient induced north winds off North California, with the core of the fetch drifting north to a point off the Southern Oregon Coast, resulting in diminished windswell radiating southward into California. Otherwise no swell producing systems forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (6/22) high pressure at 1030 mbs was centered just off the Washington/Oregon coasts interacting with lower pressure inland continuing to generate northwest winds over the Cape Mendocino coast in the 25-30 kt range producing 9 sec period windswell. This high is to hold and start drifting north into the weekend allowing the gradient to continue but drifting north with it. Windswell to continue but slowly diminishing in size as the fetch moves further away from California into next week. Locally light winds are settling in and expected to continue with a slight eddy pattern setting up Friday and beyond north of Pt Conception resulting in light west to almost southwest winds, but not very strong (5-10 kts) limited to the morning hours.
The detailed 5 Day wind forecast is included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Thursday (6/22) a fully split jetstream flow remained in-place over the entire South Pacific with the southern branch being generally weak (110 kts max) and traversing the edge of the Antarctic Continent. The Northern branch was dominant with winds 130-150 kts and generally flowing zonally (flat) from off Australia into Southern Chile. No significant troughs or areas of interest were in place capable of supporting surface level storm or gale development. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with the southern branch making even more inroads into Antarctic territory, especially in the east (not good). Beyond 72 hours the pattern continues but with a somewhat more energetic trough developing in the far Southeastern Pacific on Monday lifting as it tracks east. Late Tuesday this trough to look decent as it pushes near 130W (Southeast Pacific) continuing into next weekend. The issue is winds are to not exceed 100-110 kts, limiting it's potential for driving surface level gale development. Will monitor.
At the surface on Thursday (6/22) high pressure at 1024 ms was locking down the Southeastern Pacific with the only hope being a weak cutoff low south of Tahiti generating a tiny fetch of 40 kts winds aimed northeast at 42S 150W. This low to continue through Saturday generating up to 45 kts winds centered at 38S 130W aimed northeast. 27 ft seas forecast Thursday evening at 40S 145W holding in the 28 ft range Friday drifting east then culminating in 30 ft seas still over a tiny area at 37S 130W. Best data suggests small swell with a 14 sec period pushing northeast towards California and Central America, but Hawaii to be out of the mix because the fetch is too far east. Nothing else suggested.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
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 built 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 with pressure 960 mbs and 50-55 kts winds at 48S 120W covering 840 nmiles 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 50-55 kt fetch held into the evening at 42S 114W aimed 20 degree east of the 178 degree path to SCal with nothing reaching into NCal. 48 ft seas modeled at 45S 113W.
By Wednesday AM fetch was fading fast though still covering a broad area with 35-40 kt winds terminating at 38S 112W and 42 ft seas at 40S 110W. The fetch covered 1080 nmiles aimed just east of due north. The fetch was all but gone by nightfall though pockets of south winds were still confirmed at 35-40 kts in the same region, but over a much smaller area. No real sea production was occurring though, with the bulk of the heights produced from previous days fetch.
The Jason-1 satellite made no clean passes over the fetch area during the storms lifecycle.
Swell Generation Potential
This storm was reasonably impressive from a pure meteorological perspective. Solid 50-55 kt winds blew over a 800 nmile or greater fetch area aimed well to the north for 24-36 hours with another 24 hours of 40 kt fetch behind. Seas reached a solid 48 ft (unconfirmed) and positioned reasonably close to California (4428-5134 nmiles from SCal). Historically this is a strong storm, but not over the top. 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. If the storm had been 400 nmiles to the west, even larger swell would have blanketed all of California. Regardless, large seas have been produced and are tracking on a fairly northerly course, setting their sights from South CA southward into Central America (Costa Rica) and down into Peru. Significant class swell is expected to reach into Southern CA with lesser energy wrapping into only the most exposed Northern CA breaks. No energy was aimed towards Hawaii.
Detail Surf Forecasts
South CA: Thursday to see 14-15 sec residuals with swell 4.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (6 ft faces with set to 7 ft) and fading from there. Friday swell to be 3.3 ft @ 13 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) but that might be a bit on the high side. Swell Direction: 177-185 degrees
North CA: Thursday to have swell of 3.5-4.0 ft @ 15 secs (5-6 ft faces). Swell 3 ft @ 13-14 sec Friday and fading (4 ft faces). Swell Direction: 173-182 degrees
Tasman Sea Storm (Fiji-Hawaii)
On Wednesday (6/14) a small but strong 984 mb storm developed south of Tasmania with 50-55 kt south winds pushing up into the Tasman Sea through the day. 36 ft seas were modeled over a tiny area in the evening at 48S 148E targeting Hawaii up the 214 degree path through the Tasman Sea (and unshadowed by Fiji).
This storm was tracking east Thursday AM with winds 45 kts aimed north and 37 ft seas at 45S 155E aimed towards Hawaii up the 212 degree path. In the evening the storm core passed over the southern tip of New Zealand with residual 30-35 kt fetch and 32 ft seas pushing up through the Tasman Sea from 44S 161E then dissipated on Friday.
Large swell was expected to hit Fiji Sunday (6/18) GMT with swell 10 ft @ 15 secs with much less energy passing there heading towards Hawaii, well filtered by Fiji and surrounding Islands.
Expect swell to arrive in Hawaii late Wednesday (6/21 with swell 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2 ft faces) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs Thursday (3.0-3.5 ft faces) then peaking early Friday with swell 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). One more day of rideable surf Saturday then it's to fade. Swell Direction: 210-214 degrees.
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours generic high pressure to continue over the North Pacific with the most defined core right in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska. Some degree of 25 kt north fetch to continue blowing down the Pacific Northwest resulting in small windswell pushing into exposed breaks in North and Central CA, but nothing noteworthy. This configuration to keep trades out of the forecast for Hawaii for the time being, meaning no tradewind swell on Eastern Shores.
Beyond 72 hours a solid gale is forecast late next Tuesday (6/27) developing on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf generating 45-50 kt northeast winds targeting California and Central America continuing into Thursday positioned due south of California and aimed more to the north. Seas 32-37 ft Wed/Thurs. Will see what actually develops. It's too far off into the future to have any confidence in this outcome yet.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table