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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 9, 2006 12:11 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 = 1.0 - California & 1.0 - 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 7/10 thru Sun 7/16
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   

Summer Doldrums Continue Down South
Windswell Best Hope

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (7/9) Northern CA surf was waist high (2-3 ft) with a light onshore breeze, but bigger sets were coming through at top breaks. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were near flat with rare waist high sets. Central California surf was waist high with some chest high sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat with best breaks up to waist high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high with best breaks to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high with rare chest high waves. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high on the rare set. The East Shore was waist to chest high.

There continued to be no real surf in California to speak of through little bits of south swell were hitting the south end of the state. Windswell up north was actually doing more than reported providing consistent chest high waves if you knew where to look. Hawaii was not doing too much today with east windswell looking the most consistent. We're living for the models right now, hoping to see something of interest pop up. But the South Pacific remains locked in just an abominable jetstream pattern with no end in sight. Theoretically a little low to develop under New Zealand later today perhaps pushing some energy towards Hawaii for a day or two, but little is the operative word here. And also the Gulf of Alaska is to perhaps send some windswell towards North/Central CA later in the week, but confidence is very low. And the local windswell pattern that has made life worth living in North CA is to fade out too. So make the most of whatever you can get now, because it isn't going to get any better soon. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream charts (7/9) indicated the jetstream flow was all but gone providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days. Of note: A strong ridge is to build north of Hawaii Monday, suggesting a building high pressure pattern at the surface. Maybe windswell for the east side of the Hawaiian Islands. Otherwise detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is on an exception basis through the summer.

At the surface on Sunday (7/9) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered just due north of Hawaii barely ridging into the California coast. This configuration was generating 20 kts north winds along the North/Central CA coast and 20 kts easterly trades over the Hawaiian Islands producing the commensurate short period windswell in both locales. Low pressure at 996 mbs was just east of the dateline and just south of the Aleutians tracking east and riding over the top of the dominant high to the south. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (7/12) the high is stop ridging east but hold it's ground north of Hawaii continuing trades over the Islands in the solid 20 kt range while the previously mention low pushes cleanly in to the Gulf of Alaska with 25 kt northwest winds targeting the Pacific Northwest and Northern California Mon-Wed then fading out. Small slightly longer period windswell (10 sec) could push towards the aforementioned locations late in the workweek into the weekend if this comes to pass.

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
Northwest wind continues along the coast of North and Central CA through Monday and is then forecast to start fading as low pressure moves towards our area from the northwest. Windswell dropping off with northwest winds down to the 15 kt range by Wednesday AM and holding there or even less through Friday (7/14), then starting to build by the weekend as high pressure starts to regain it's foothold on the far Eastern Pacific. Local windswell heights to to follow the trend in the wind. Of note, the low pressure system mention above to generate a better quality windswell expected in the North/Central CA area Fri-Sun of the coming weekend, but that far from guaranteed at this time.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Sunday (7/9) the unfavorable jetstream pattern continued unabated with a split jetstream flow in-place over the entire South Pacific except a tiny area under New Zealand. The southern branch had winds only up to 90 kts and was generally traversing Antarctic Ice over the entire width of the South Pacific. The only exception was a faint trough under New Zealand with 120 kt winds flowing over it, with very limited potential for surface level low pressure development suggested favoring Hawaii. The Northern branch remained dominant with winds generally 130-140 kts flowing flat from off Australia over southern Chile. No significant troughs or areas of interest were indicated capable of supporting surface level storm or gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (7/12) the southern branch to continue it's track over Antarctic Ice while the northern branch get's a little more energy behind it with winds pushing 150 kts, but again flat as a board west to east only reinforcing the unproductive pattern at the surface. Beyond 72 hours no significant change is forecast.

At the surface on Sunday (7/9) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered over the Southeast Pacific ridging south to the Ross Ice Shelf and locking down the entire area east of 150W, or over 50% of the California swell window. A tiny low was developing under New Zealand. Over the next 72 the only feature of interest is to be that low, forecast to build to 968 mbs Sunday evening (7/9) while tracking slowly southeast producing 55 kt winds aimed east to northeast over a tiny area for 24 hours then fading to 45 kts before the systems crashes into the Ross Ice Shelf. Seas modeled at 32-35 ft for 36 hours from 55S 175E tracking to 60S 155W suggesting small swell might be heading towards Hawaii, but the fact that the fetch is tracking southeast away from the Islands should surely limit swell generation capacity for the Islands. This system is to be too small and far away to have any impact on California. Expect swell for Hawaii about a week out from Monday. Overall though a quiet pattern for the greater South Pacific with no indication of any swell generation suggested.

Over the next 72 hours the New Zealand high pressure system to track east continuing the lock down of the South Pacific. The Tahitian low is to generate another 12 hours of fetch with seas only reaching 27 ft for 6 hours. No hope here. No other swell producing system suggested.

Some fleeting fetch developed under New Zealand late Sunday (4/3) into Monday at 45 kts decaying to 30 kts, aimed somewhat towards Hawaii. 28 ft seas were modeled Monday at 57S 170E building in areal coverage in the evening with seas to 29 ft at 57S 175E then fading fast from 28 ft Tuesday AM (7/4) at 56S 178W. This was really just the decaying remnants of a stronger storm that formed under Australia. Limited swell likely pushing towards Hawaii with swell arriving Tuesday (7/11) at 1.6 ft @ 16 secs (2.5 ft faces) from 207 degrees.

A series of 3 small lows developed in the Southeast Pacific, one on Thursday (6/29) producing 28 ft seas just off the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf at 62S 127-140W for 12 hours possibly sending tiny swell north towards California. Another tiny low formed late Friday (6/30) generating near 30 ft seas for 12 hours at 40S 110W possibly adding a little size for the swell pushing towards South California. One more patch of 26 ft seas developed Saturday PM (7/1) at 60S 125W pushing northeast for 12 hours to 55S 120W adding a bit more duration to the existing swell above, but not much. All this to result in a series of small weak swells to hit Southern CA on Saturday (7/8) building to maybe 3 ft @ 14 secs (3-4 ft faces but likely much smaller) by Sunday from 185 degrees. This same swell to hit North CA on Sunday building to 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs Monday (3.5 ft faces) from 180-185 degrees.

On Thursday (7/6) a decent storm was south of Tasmania generating up to 50 kts winds and up to 40 ft seas bound for Fiji at a bit of a tangent angle, with dribbles possible for Hawaii after being ground down by Fiji and surrounding Islands. That swell to arrive on the South Shore late on Thursday (7/13) peaking Saturday (7/15) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) from 210 degrees. This to be a long-laster, but very inconsistent. At least it's something rideable.

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

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours high pressure to continue locked north of Hawaii at 1028 mbs with 20 kt east winds the norm there and generating short period windswell on the East Shore. By Friday (7/14) the high is to start tracking northeast, reducing trade wind speeds over Hawaii and setting up smaller windswell there while building the north winds along the California coast and perhaps generating more windswell there. Some suggestions of the tropics becoming more active too with slightly warmer than normal waters imaged over the entire tropical Eastern Pacific and borderline weak El Nino conditions trying to set up.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the unfavorable ridge in the upper levels is to continue shearing the top off any low pressure system trying to develop in the greater South Pacific. On Tuesday (7/11) another storm to track under Australia pushing 55 kt fetch to the northeast up towards the Tasman Sea and generating 40 ft seas fading to the 30 ft range by early Thursday (7/13). This to send more swell to Fiji with well filtered energy likely pushing past towards Hawaii. Otherwise no swell producing systems forecast.

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
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