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On Thursday (7/27) Northern CA surf was thigh high and textured with thick fog in place. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were flat to thigh high at the best spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was maybe thigh high with with up to waist high sets at better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were also thigh high with waist high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was chest to head high, maybe a little more on sets at the best breaks. The East Shore was thigh to waist high.
No swell of interest was occurring in California with the non-productive southern hemi pattern still in effect and local windswell suppressed as well. Hawaii was seeing the first pulse of many southern hemi swell swells to come producing fun rideable surf at the better spots. The situation in the South Pacific finally made a turn around earlier this week producing one decent storm with another forecast right behind it. This suggests that a series of southern hemi swells are to start pushing north, with the first already in the water steaming towards Hawaii and California with more likely to follow. The long summer drought is finally over! See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/27) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days.
At the surface high pressure at 1032 was centered right in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska ridging into the Pacific Northwest starting to produce northwest winds down into Cape Mendocino CA at 20-25 kts then pushing southwest to west along a line passing 600 nmiles north of the Hawaiian Islands generating 15-20 kts trades there. In all windswell generation potential was minimal. A near neutral pressure pattern was over the entire Western Pacific. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/30) the same pattern is to hold with the high building to 1036 mbs and retrograding slightly west but the gradient along Cape Mendocino is to tighten up just a bit producing 25-30 kt northwest winds there Saturday resulting in larger windswell locally along the North California coast, but nothing remarkable. The remnants of Tropical Storm Daniel were tracking west on a course south of Hawaii, expected to interact with the high to the north push enhanced easterly trades over the Big Island Friday into Saturday with some marginal increase in windswell there. But in all a relatively uneventful pattern indicated.
No solid swell producing tropical systems were in-play as of Thursday (7/27). The remnants of former Tropical Depression Daniel were tracking southeast of Hawaii's Big Island and Tropical Depression Emilia was fading well west of Baja.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
A light wind regime was in effect for the waters immediately off California (south of Pt Arena) with no change forecast into Friday. But building northwest winds off Cape Mendocino expected to 30 kts by Saturday generating windswell pushing south into Central CA, but those winds to remain away from the coast. But by Sunday that fetch area to be tracking south and impacting the coast down to Pt Conception on Sunday making for sloppy messy conditions there northward through Wednesday of next week. Finally the fetch is to regroup to the north over Cape Mendocino next Thursday with improving conditions and larger windswell expected. Southern California to remain unaffected by any of this.
The detailed 5 Day Wind Forecast is included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Thursday (7/27) the jetstream was vastly different than in weeks past, with a split flow consolidating just east of New Zealand and pushing a bit north forming a reasonably well defined trough north of the Ross Ice Shelf with but no solid winds blowing around it. A small pocket of 160 kt winds was well north of there, with the consolidated flow then diving south over Antarctica over the Southeast Pacific and heading east under South America. The only hope for storm production was in the trough east of New Zealand, but winds were not strong enough to produce anything at the surface. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/30) that trough is to hold if not become better defined while drifting slowly to the east. A moderate pocket of 140 kt winds to build around this flow Friday (7/28) fading out Saturday and Sunday. Some support for surface level gale development possible. A more unfavorable pattern forecast after that but a new steep trough is forecast building under New Zealand a week out (8/3) with with 130 kts winds flowing up it's west side and providing a favorable environment for surface level storm development then.
At the surface on Thursday (7/27) a large broad low pressure gale at 936 mbs was centered over the south Central Pacific, remnants of a storm that formed earlier in the week (details below - Storm #4S). This system was spinning out but living comfortably in the upper level trough above it, providing an environment favorable to low pressure. 30-35 kt winds were pushing north to northwest targeting Hawaii and California with 30 ft seas fading fast. A secondary kink in the isobars is forecast to develop in this low southeast of New Zealand on Friday (7/28) rebuilding 45-50 kts southwest winds Friday near 50S 165W. These winds to get good traction on the already well-agitated ocean surface generating 30 ft seas Friday AM at 53S 172W pushing up to 37 ft at 48S 165W by evening and targeting Hawaii, California and Tahiti. A closed 968 mb low to be in-place Saturday AM continuing a small area of 45-50 kts winds aimed north at 48S 149W targeting Hawaii from a rather steep angle but California better. 37 ft seas modeled Saturday AM at 45S 155W fading to 35 ft at 45S 145W in the evening. This system to continue on Sunday with solid seas taking a more easterly tack then fading out slowly Mon-Tues as the gale pushes out of the US swell window. If this comes to pass a small significant class swell could push into Hawaii with solid utility class energy pushing towards California.
Storm #4S - Hawaii
On Sunday AM (7/23) a small low started to develop directly under New Zealand producing 50 kt winds at 54S 165E aimed northeast up the 201 degree path to Hawaii and the 216 degree path to California. By the evening winds continued at 50-55 kts centered near 55S 175E aimed northeast aimed like before. By Monday AM pressure was down to 960 mbs with winds fading some to 50 kts over a shrinking area centered at 56S 172E aimed well up the 195 degree path to Hawaii and the 212 degree path to California. By evening 36 ft seas were in place at 54S 175W tracking northeast with winds dropping from 45 kts over a broad area. 37 ft seas were modeled into Tuesday PM at 50S 170W on the 187 degree path to Hawaii and the 208 degree path to California but becoming shadowed by Tahiti, especially Southern CA, then fading out.
Data for the storm was reconstructed from a variety of non-Stormsurf sources (due to our server outage) so confidence is now as high as usual. Still this system appeared to be a moderate winter-time southern hemi storm well positioned to push solid energy towards Hawaii and in relatively close proximity to the Islands 4572 nmiles and well inside their swell window which should result in a significant class swell with period in the 17-20 sec range. California was much further away (6100 nmiles) and partially shadowed by Tahiti towards the end of the storm, resulting in smaller more decayed but still decent sized utility class swell in the 17-20 sec range.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival Sunday (7/30) with period at 20 sec with size tiny but building. Swell 2 ft @ 19 secs late (4 ft faces). Swell on the increase Monday (7/31) building to 4 ft @ 18 secs mid-day (7 ft faces with best breaks to 9 ft). Swell holding solid and increasing in consistency on Tuesday with swell 5.2 ft @ 16 secs (8 ft faces with sets to 10 ft) holding through the day. Solid size but lessening energy expected on Wednesday (8/2) with swell dropping from 4.9 ft @ 14-15 secs (7 ft faces with sets to 9 ft). Still solid 14 secs energy expected Thursday (8/3) with swell 3.9 ft @ 13-14 secs (5.0-5.5 ft faces) fading slowly through the day. Swell Direction: 190-195 degrees
South California: Expect swell arrival Wednesday (8/2) with swell building to 2.3 ft @ 18 secs late (4 ft faces and inconsistent). By Thursday (8/3) swell to be peaking at 3.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (6 ft faces with sets to 7 ft at best breaks) holding through the day. Swell Direction 210 degrees
North California: Expect swell arrival Wednesday (8/2) with swell building to 2.6 ft @ 18 secs late (4 ft faces and inconsistent). By Thursday (8/3) swell to be peaking at 3.9 ft @ 16 secs (6 ft faces with sets to 7.5 ft at best breaks) holding through the day. Swell Direction 210-215 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 high pressure to hold in the Western Gulf of Alaska with trades fading over the Hawaiian Islands and northwest windswell shifting to a position further south along the California coast off Central CA, not supporting decent windswell production through Tuesday (7/31). But a more favorable pattern suggested thereafter with the high shifting fast to the east and regrouping off Cape Mendocino Wednesday (8/1) producing building northwest winds there at 25-30 kts with increasing windswell by Thursday. Northeasterly trades to start building over the HAwaiian Islands in the 15-20 kts range at the same time, with increased chances for some small rideable windswell along easterly shores as well.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing gales or storm forecast until late in the period (therefore confidence is low). A 964 mb low to form just southeast of New Zealand with 30 kts winds starting to build aimed northeast. No solid seas modeled yet.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table