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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 16, 2006 6:18 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 & 1.5 - 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 7/17 thru Sun 7/23
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   

Unfavorable Jetstream Pattern Continues
Windswell in CA/Small Pulses for Hawaii

 

Note: Stormsurf Forecasts will not be updated from Monday (7/17) through Tuesday (7/25). We're taking a little vacation while things are quiet.

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (7/13) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high with a few bigger ones at select breaks. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were in the thigh to waist high. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with chest high sets at the best spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with up to chest high sets at better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were also waist to chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was thigh high.

Windswell dominates in Northern California with a mix of southern hemi/tropical on the south end of the state. In all it was rideable, but nothing remarkable. Hawaii continued seeing a little southern hemi swell, but it was small. The South Pacific is doing nothing right now, though the models suggest a slight turn towards a more favorable state a few days out. The jury is definitely out as to whether that will actually happen though, with most betting folks taking the conservative approach and thinking it won't. Still. it's a step in the right direction. No windswell generation potential for Hawaii longterm and California's steady supply to dwindle and not be replaced either. Make the most of what you have. 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 (7/16) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days.

At the surface high pressure at 1028 was centered over the dateline at 35N with a second high just off the Pacific Northwest also at 1028 mbs ridging into Southwest Canada. It was generating the normal summertime pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino producing 25 kt northwest winds there and the standard northwest windswell along the North and Central coasts. Trades were suppressed over Hawaii with high pressure east and west of the state, but nothing to the north to fuel the usual easterly trade wind flow. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (7/19) the same basic configuration is to hold with Hawaii stuck in a slack wind position while the Cape Mendocino gradient continues to produce north winds, a little more than previous up to the 30 kts range slightly increasing the size of windswell pushing into the North and Central coasts. Still 9 sec period is about all that can be expected. Theoretically low pressure to build in the Gulf of Alaska by Wednesday setting the stage to break down high pressure off California and put an end to the windswell machine. Otherwise no swell producing systems were indicated.

 

Tropics
Tropical systems Bud and Carlotta were all but gone and offered no swell generation potential. But contrary to our previous forecast, some form of small swell from both these systems is tricking into exposed south facing breaks in Southern California with swell in the 2 ft @ 13-14 sec range. That's a good deal for those who are there.

No other swell producing tropical systems were in-play at this time.

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
Northwest winds off Cape Mendocino are just short of fully impacting the coast on Sunday, but that margin of comfort to expand over the coming days with slack winds expected starting Monday. By Tuesday up to 35 kt north winds to be blowing off the Cape increasing the size of the windswell incrementally, but those winds to be well clear of locations from Pt Reyes southward. The gradient is to start decaying Wednesday and be near gone by Thursday evening with windswell fading away with it. Generally light winds to settle into nearshore and offshore waters with no windswell indicated. By Sunday (7/23) a new gradient is to try and start setting up with local northwest winds modeled at 15-20 kts and short period windslop starting to build.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Sunday (7/16) the unfavorable jetstream pattern continued unchanged with a split jetstream flow in-place over the entire South Pacific. The southern branch had winds at 70 kts and was traversing Antarctic Ice over the entire width of the South Pacific. The Northern branch remained dominant with isolated winds up to 150 kts flowing flat over the rest of the South Pacific into 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 (7/19) the southern branch is to lift ever so slightly to the north centered on the 60S latitude perhaps opening up a tiny window for something to develop over the edge of Antarctic Ice. even the slightest form of a trough is suggested under New Zealand on Wednesday with 120 kt winds flowing over it, but this is not the first time this has been modeled only to not develop, so confidence remains quite low. Beyond 72 hours the pattern to continue with the jet running flat centered on the 60S latitude with no substantial troughs indicated.

At the surface on Sunday (7/16) high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered over south New Zealand ridging east helping to push gales tracking from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific on a southerly route over Antarctic ice. Actually a nearly clam pattern was in effect over the Southeast Pacific with only a weak gale tracking under new Zealand. Over the next 72 hours one tiny gale to build Tuesday (7/18) over the edge of the ice line in the south Central Pacific only lasting 24 hours with another developing under New Zealand on Wednesday (7/19). This one has a little more promise with 45 kt winds aimed north but only for 12-24 hours generating 32 ft seas pushing reasonably well towards Hawaii then tracking fast to the east only to redevelop in the Southeast Pacific by Friday (7/21) with supposedly 65 kt east winds, but too much over ice and pushing out of the California swell window within 24 hours. No decent seas to develop.

 

Previous Mini Fetch Events
On Sunday PM (7/9) a tiny low developed under New Zealand building to 968 mbs 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 crashed into the Ross Ice Shelf. Seas were modeled at 32-36 ft for 30 hours from 55S 175E tracking to 60S 160W suggesting tiny swell might be heading towards Hawaii. But the fact that the fetch was tracking southeast away from the Islands should surely limit swell generation capacity for the Islands. Background swell likely for Hawaii around 7/20 with period 16-17 secs from 210 degrees, but not much.

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 hold off the Pacific Northwest coast but drift north and away from Cape Mendocino eliminating any windswell generation potential for CA. There hints it might drift start drifting back south next Sunday (7/23), but that's far from certain. Hawaii to remain in a slack wind pattern with a neutral pressure remaining in effect.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing gales or storm 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
Also we now provide Jason-1 Altimetry data overlaid on our Wavewatch III wave models. Take a look Here

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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