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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 11, 2005 3:27 AM
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 = 3.9 - California & 3.0 - 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 7/11 thru Sun 7/17
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   

Utility Swell Heads for Hawaii
Better Potential for CA, with More Storms Forecast

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (7/10) Northern CA surf was waist high with heavy fog early. South facing breaks were waist high. Central California was up to waist high at the best spots. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat with best breaks to barely waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high at the best spots. Southward to San Diego waves were up to waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was chest to head high with some bigger sets. The East Shore was waist high.

Small to near flat surf to continue for the US west coast for the next few days before a mix of moderate southern hemi and northwest windswell starts to show mid-week. Then a mix of windswell with occasional pulses of small southern hemi swell to continue well into the future. Hawaii also has the same southern hemi swell moving towards it's shores, expected to back-up fun sized surf already in-place providing rideable plus surf through the workweek, then flattening out for the weekend. But if the models are right, more moderate surf is expected the following week. See details below...

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

North Pacific

Overview
At the jetstream level on Sunday (7/10) a weak pocket of energy was pushing into Oregon associated with a weak trough in the Gulf of Alaska. Otherwise there was no hint of any swell producing pattern in the upper levels here (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the trough in the Gulf is to slowly decay with a near zonal pattern trying to get established. Certainly nothing indicative of supporting storm development as would be expected for the time of year.

At the surface today high a broad but disorganized area of high pressure at 1024 mbs was centered generally over the dateline ridging north the the Aleutian Islands and east to almost Pt Conception while a faint surface low at 1004 mbs was centered 800 nmiles west of Oregon tracking east. It had been producing 20-25 kt westerly winds on Saturday (7/9) but was falling apart today with only 15 kts winds suggested (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the big high over the dateline is to track east reaching the northeast Gulf of Alaska late Tuesday (7/12) with pressure at 1032 mbs and forming the usual gradient off Cape Mendocino with 30 kt north winds forecast there by mid-week. This is expected to start generating windswell for the North and Central coasts. Moderate gradient east-northeast trades are to build over the Hawaiian Islands too improving the potential for easterly windswell there. A very weak lo is to track off Japan to the northeast and dissipate. Otherwise no swell producing systems of interest are forecast.

More model data here

 

California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (7/10) indicated that the normal summertime high off the coast had retrograded west and that a low pressure regime had taken over. In fact a surface low at 1006 mbs was just off Oregon tracking east. This scenario is to be short lived though, with high pressure rebounding by Tuesday (7/12) and the Cape Mendocino gradient forecast to develop, initially weakly and centered too far south (off San Francisco) then building and moving north taking up a position off the Cape by Wednesday (7/13). North winds are forecast there at 30-35 kts building to near 40 kts in the afternoon, then settling back down to the 30-35 kts range into the weekend. Weak low pressure is to be over the Bay area likely settling up a local southerly winds eddy flow by Friday and in to the weekend. In short, there good windswell potential for the North and Central coasts once this gradient develops, though southerly winds in the 10 kts range might be an issue.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Sunday (7/10) the jetstream charts indicated an improved pattern in place, with the north and southern branches of the jet mostly consolidated. The main flow was pushing east over Northern New Zealand with a nice trough there. Then when it reached south of Tahiti is was ridging strongly south to near the Ross Ice Shelf, only the rebound back to the north well off Chile. This was actually the best we've seen this season so far (animation here). Over the next 72 hours some form of a trough is to persist east and south of New Zealand providing fertile ground for storm development. The ridge in the mid-Pacific is to track is and dig further south to Antarctica, shutting down any storm development potential in the east.

At the surface today a 1028 mb high pressure system was located fairly far to the north well off Chile and on the eastern edge of the California swell window. A second high was north of New Zealand. Otherwise generic low pressure was situated east of New Zealand. This was basically consistent with what was indicated by the upper level charts (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a large complex storm system is to develop in the Southwestern Pacific. Imbedded in that are forecast a series of 3 lows strung across the Southwest Pacific, with the first 2 positioned more to the east and not getting particularly well developed, with only limited 40-45 kt winds forecast, then quickly fading. Of more interest is the third one, forecast developing late Tuesday (7/12) under New Zealand with pressure 956 mbs and 50-55 kts winds aimed east. It is to track east through Thursday (7/14) with pressure dropping to 948 mbs and a solid fetch of 40-45 kts aimed east-northeast. Seas forecast to 39 ft on Wednesday (7/13) and holding in the 35 ft range through Thursday. This one looks to have decent swell generation potential for Hawaii and very solid potential for Tahiti (if long period groomed lines are your thing), with utility class potential for California. As usual, Central and South America should fare quite well too.

More model data here

 

Small New Zealand Storm - Hawaii
On Thursday evening (6/30) a 984 mb gale developed east of New Zealand and wound up through Friday AM (7/1) producing a fleeting and tiny 24 hour fetch of 45-50 kt winds aimed almost due north, right at Hawaii up the 192 degree great circle path. 18 hours of 28-29 ft seas were generated positioned near 47S 175W, 4300 nmiles southwest of Hawaii but good enough for some decent summertime utility class swell or better for Hawaii in the 13-14 sec range but likely hardly noticeable for California. Will track in the Hawaiian QuikCAST (look for arrival Friday 7/8 then fading out by Tuesday 7/12).

 

Mid-Pacific Storm
On Tuesday (7/5) a new storm developed just east of New Zealand with pressure dropping to 972 mbs while high pressure held at 1032 mbs over Australia, setting a a gradient between the two aimed northeast. Winds were confirmed at 40 to near 50 kts over a broad area centered near 57S 162W aimed northwest generally up the 203 degree path to California and 30 degrees east of the 185 degree path to Hawaii. On Tuesday PM winds continued at 40-50 kts over a moderate area centered at 53S 156W aimed like before. Seas built to 30 ft over a small area centered at 53S 160W.

The same pattern started to break down Wednesday AM (7/6) with a moderate area of 35-40 kt winds remaining centered near 45S 147W aimed 25 degrees east of the 195 degree path to California and 70 degree off any track to Hawaii and outside their swell window. Seas were modeled 35 ft centered at 50S 150W. The gale actually expanded northeast while loosing definition Wednesday PM, with winds down to 30-40 kts centered 1800 nmiles south of Tahiti. Seas dropped to 32 ft centered at 48S 142W.

A broad but unorganized fetch of 30-45 kt west winds continued Thursday AM (7/7) and held into Friday (7/8) south of Tahiti but aimed mostly at Peru. Seas were modeled at 30 ft Thursday AM at 45S 138W dropping to 29 ft that evening at 42S 132W. A new low developed from the remnants of this systems front late Friday (7/8) with pressure down to 960 mbs and winds back up to 50-55 kts centered near 54S 135W. Seas were up to 30 ft over a tiny area centered at 51S 138W.

On Saturday AM (7/9) the new fetch continued with 50 kt winds centered near 53S 125W, aimed generally 30 degrees east of the 185 degree path to California and well outside the Hawaiian swell window. Seas were back up to 35 ft at 51S 130W. By the evening this pulse was really winding down with only some weak 40 kt winds remaining and aimed outside the California swell window though Central and South America with see good energy from this one. 35 ft seas held at 50S 120W but were fading on Sunday (7/10).

The models were interesting with sea heights indicated higher than what one might expect based on wind speeds alone. But the fetch area (specifically length) was long on this systems initial incarnation and blew over the same area of water for 108 hours (4.5 days) which accounts for the bulk of the swell generation capacity. A rather long stretch of 14-16 sec energy is suggested with peak period in the 18-19 sec range pushing well into Peru and Central America. Solid utility class swell generation potential also indicated for California with lesser energy moving north over a short window towards Hawaii from early in the storms life. Swell to arrive starting Tuesday (7/12) in Hawaii with period at 18 secs and size building, peaking early the following day with swell 3 ft @ 16 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces). Swell arriving in Southern California on Wednesday (7/13) with period at 19 secs and peaking late Thursday through Friday (7/15) with swell 3.3-4.0 ft @ 15-17 secs (4-5 ft faces with sets into the 6 ft range). Breaks with good southern hemi bathymetry could do better. Note: These sizes are based on our normal conservative manual calculations. Some automated sources suggest slightly higher swell heights, but these are somewhat suspect. Details posted in the QuikCAST's.

QuikCAST

 

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

North Pacific

Sundays upper level models (7/10) indicate that beyond 72 hours a bit of a ridge is forecast to start building in the Gulf of Alaska towards the end of this workweek pushing into over southern Canada late in the weekend. This suggest a return of high pressure to the Eastern Pacific at the surface.

At the surface high pressure is to continue to hold down the Northeast Pacific through next weekend with the Cape Mendocino gradient active through Saturday (7/16) and solid trades blowing into the Hawaiian Island, suggestive of moderate windwell in both locations. There's some indications the high is to start retrograding back to the west on Sunday (7/17) relaxing pressure along the California coast and discontinuing the Cape Mendocino gradient (and windwell), but Hawaii looks to be unaffected.

 

South Pacific

Sundays upper level models (7/10) indicated that beyond 72 hours the trough southeast of New Zealand is to hold through next Sunday (6/17) as is the ridge in the East Pacific, with some form of split jet pattern trying to regenerate there. The area southeast of New Zealand looks to be the best opportunity for surface level storm development in the coming week.

At the surface a new low is to develop under Tasmania and track up into the Tasman Sea, impacting New Zealand on Friday (7/15) . Winds forecast in the 45-50 kt range aimed well up the Tasman Sea towards Fiji then tracking over New Zealand. All fetch after that is to get directed south towards Antarctica as high pressure at 1032 mbs takes control of the Mid-South Pacific. Some potential is still possible under New Zealand, but high pressure looks to be getting a stronger hold on the storm corridor under Tasmania, cutting off the flow of energy from the Indian Ocean.

 

Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Update
On Friday (6/24) the Southern Oscillation Index dipped into the negative range at -12, the first time in 9 days. Readings of -14 to -24 were reported daily until Thursday (6/30) when they returned to near neutral levels +2.5. They dipped again on Saturday (7/2) to -8 moving back up to the -3 range on July 4-5th then holding near zero July 7-10 . This suggests neutral conditions. Trades that had been a bit stronger than normal remain near slack/dead calm in the far Western Pacific extending east to nearly the dateline. Today's models (7/10) continue to suggest that we should be in a spurt of enhanced trades that is to last through July 15th, though there's no sign of it. Instead neutral conditions are being evidenced. A potential active phase of the MJO is to develop in the Indian OCean starting today potentially tracking east into the Pacific on 7/20. But at this time there were no clear signs of an impending active phase of the MJO or neither El Nino or La Nina. Marginally warmer than normal water temperatures continue across the equatorial Pacific though.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm

Stormsurf Weather Models Updated Again: Yes, we've been at it again this weekend getting another batch of weather models running. Global coverage is now provided for jetstream forecasts and surface pressure and winds. Zoomed in data is also available for such locations as the Mentawai Islands to Western Australia corridor, Tahiti, South America, Europe and Norwegian Sea. So now you can get local wind forecasts for these and more locations with one click. Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu.html

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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