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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 29, 2007 2:39 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 = 0.5 - California & 2.5 - 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 7/30 thru Sun 8/5
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   

Another Round of Small Swell For HI
Windswell To Dominate in California

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (7/29) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high with a few bigger peaks and fairly junky. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were barely waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to rarely chest high and junky. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was maybe waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore continued with waist to chest high waves and a little bigger at the best spots. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California continued getting uneventful small northwest windswell. Southern California was essentially flat with only a mix of minimal northwest windswell and small southern hemi background swell. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. The South Shore was getting a renewed burst of small southern hemi swell putting most spots in the rideable range and even a bit better. The North Pacific is asleep for the summer, though high pressure was forming a pressure gradient along the California coast helping to generate moderate northerly winds and small windswell. That's to pick up some early week, then fade some midweek but hold on through the following weekend. Hawaii to get a bit of a tradewind push mid-week too, helping to nudge the easterly windswell up there as well. The South Pacific is all but asleep though, having produced nothing of any interest lately. Hawaii is getting the second to last little pulse of southern hemi swell, with one more mid week then thing really quieting down and holding there for quite some time. Little pieces of those swells are to dribble into California mid-to-late-week, but set your sights low. Looking at the models, virtually nothing of interest is expected aimed towards either California or Hawaii in the next week, meaning no surf of interest from this region for the next 2 weeks. Make the most of what you can get and either hope for more or book a flight to the Indian Ocean, where all the action is. 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 (7/29) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with only a weak flow pushing west to east over the Aleutians dipping a little south as it tracks over the Gulf of Alaska. No support for low pressure development indicated. Over the next 72 hours no significant change is forecast. Beyond 72 hours wind speeds to come up just a bit with winds to 100 kts, but a broad ridge is expected to be building in the Gulf while the rest of the jet hangs over the Aleutians, providing no support for surface level low pressure development.

At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1024 mbs was positioned 700 nmiles north of the Big Island of Hawaii ridging mainly east into Northern California generating 25 kt north winds from Cape Mendocino south to Pt Conception producing small 8 sec period windswell along exposed breaks mostly in Central CA. The high was also producing a steady area of 15-20 kt easterly trades off it's south side pushing over the Hawaiian Islands, but not quite enough yet to generate any windswell of interest. Over the next 72 hrs through Wednesday (8/1) the high to split with some energy pushing east to a point just 600 nmiles off Northern California and the rest moving west to the dateline. This to result in increased northerly winds along the California coast by Monday AM building to 30-35 kts and holding into Tuesday bumping up the windswell along the coast across the state then fading to the 25 kts range by Wednesday, with the commensurate downturn in windswell expected, but not out. As the high splits on Monday whatever trades the Islands have will falter, with winds falling to 15 kts or less and meager windswell fading away.

 

Tropics
Tropical Storm Usagi was located about 1000 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan tracking due west with sustained winds 45 kts. It is expected to start turning to the north later today while increasing strength. This pattern is to continue with winds currently forecast up to 110 kts by Wednesday AM when it is to be positioned just 350 nmiles south of Southern Japan. The storm is expected to make landfall there early Thursday AM (8/2) then push into the Sea of Japan. At this time there is no indication enough of it will survive the impact to successfully make the re-curve back to the northeast to enter the North Pacific as a swell producing system.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (7/29) high pressure at 1026 mbs was pushing towards the coast from a point north of Hawaii, generating 20-25 kt north winds over the entire Central CA coast and producing small windswell. By early Monday high pressure is to make a much more pronounced push eastward with winds building to 25-30 kts centered off Cape Mendocino with 20 kts winds impacting coastal regions on down to the Channel Islands. This situation to into late Monday evening, then the winds are to start pulling away from the coast from Pt Reyes southward bringing an improvement to local surf conditions for Tuesday. Winds to back off to the 25 kts range by Wednesday up north with light winds from Pt Arena southward into Thursday (8/2). High pressure off the coast to build to 1030 mbs by late Friday and pushing the north winds into the coast, but pulling back for the weekend while the gradient holds tight to the north, with near 30 kts winds there and sufficient windswell and cleaner conditions.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream charts (7/29) for the South Pacific indicated a split zonal flow (flat) with the two branches of the jet flowing basically west to east with no significant ridges pushing south or troughs pushing north. That said, only a faint trough was gently pushing the southern branch north a tad, but not enough to be particularly supportive of low pressure development at the oceans surface. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (8/1) the weak trough in the southern branch is to build a bit but not have much energy flowing through it, with the peak of the trough due south of California with winds up to 120 kts on Tuesday, but fading from there. Limited support for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours this trough is to slowly slide east out of even the California swell window with a massive ridge pushing over Antarctica and the Ross Ice Shelf under New Zealand. No support for surface level low pressure development starting Thursday on through the weekend.

At the surface today weak a broad low pressure system at 972 mbs was well south of Tahiti generating a broad fetch of 30-35 kt southwest to west winds and 25 ft seas aimed generally to the east towards Chile, with nothing aimed at Hawaii and aimed 35+ degrees east of any path to even California. No hope here. Over the next 72 hours this low to track east doing more of the same thing, with no real winds of interest forecast (less than 35 kts) and seas up to the 27 ft range, but again all aimed mostly towards Chile. No other systems of interest are forecast. So the two swells documented below appear to be the last hope for a while, and they are focused primarily on Hawaii.

 

Gale #1
A fetch developed late Thursday (7/19) into Friday associated with a 984 mb low well south of Tahiti. 30-35 kts south winds were confirmed at roughly 50S 160W into early Saturday (7/21) generating 23-25 ft seas at 45S 155W targeting Hawaii quite well through mid-Saturday (7/21). Swell expected in Hawaii starting Sunday (7/29) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) and on the increase reaching near 3 ft @ 14 secs (4 ft faces) Monday. Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees.

Gale #2
On Monday (7/23) a complex area of low pressure (really 2 separate lows in close proximity to each other) set up east of New Zealand generating an elongated fetch of southwesterly winds with the core reaching 45 kts near 43S 163W. A tiny area of 30 ft seas was confirmed by the Jason-1 satellite at 39S 162W aimed 20 degrees east of the 181 degree path to Hawaii well up the 206 degree path to California but totally shadowed by Tahiti. The fetch continued into the evening drifting generally east with peak winds near the 35-40 kt range. 27 ft seas over a tiny area at 40S 160W. Tuesday morning winds were down to 35 kts at 42S 156W aimed reasonably well up the 205 degree path to California and unshadowed and almost out of the Hawaiian swell window. 23 ft seas were aimed towards Hawaii and fading at 40S 160W with 27 ft seas at 39S 150W aimed about 25 degrees east of the 201 degree path to California. 35 kts winds to hold in this area (40S 153W) in the evening with 25 ft seas forecast at 37S 150W pushing towards California up the 203 degree path and partially shadowed by Tahiti. By Wednesday AM (7/25) the last fading remnants of this fetch to be centered at 37S 150W with winds 30 kts aimed and shadowed like before relative to California. 25 ft seas are forecast at 35S 150W aimed northeast, but again partially shadowed. By evening this system is to be gone with 24 ft seas fading at 35S 145W. For the most part this swell was aimed best at Hawaii and in closer proximity, providing them the best shot for surf. California was shadowed by Tahiti from the bulk of this and will like see only minimally rideable surf (details to be provided in the QuikCAST's). Swell expected in Hawaii starting Tuesday (7/31) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) continuing at 3 ft @ 13 secs Wednesday (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Swell fading on Thursday from 2.3 ft @ 12 secs (2.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 190 degrees.

 

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 build to 1028 mbs positioned 1200 nmiles west of North CA by Friday (8/3) with a decent fetch of 15-20 kts east-northeast winds taking aim at Hawaii originating just off the California coast. Windswell to start building modestly at first, but is suggested to increase to the 20-25 kts range as tropical low pressure starts forming a gradient with it tracking towards the Big Island from the east by the weekend. This could get interesting if the tropical lows (2 suggested) develop as modeled. Larger easterly windswell possible. In California northwest winds to continue in the 25 kt range Thursday (8/2) off Cape Mendocino continuing through Friday, then building to 30 kts Saturday into Sunday with the commensurate increase in windswell expected. Fortunately these winds are to not be right up against the coast, possibly suggesting cleaner conditions along with the expected increase in windswell size for the weekend.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that the only activity of even remote interest is to be associated with low pressure in the far Southeast Pacific. It is to be producing periodic bits of 40 kts fetch early Thursday (8/2) then again late Friday (maybe even to near 50 kts) with seas to 30 ft on the edge of the California swell window, but all short lived and aimed mostly east and bypassing routes north towards the US mainland, instead focusing on Chile and Peru. So for now now swell is expected unless something dramatic changes in the models (unlikely). By Next weekend high pressure at 1032 mbs is forecast to be developing well southeast of New Zealand (at 50S 150W) pretty much choking off the South Pacific storm corridor.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists. http://www.waveridersgallery.net/

New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.

Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here: http://www.surfingtravel.com/

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and people that make up the surf community. Check it out here: http://www.thesurfbook.com

New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
http://www.google.com/ig/add?moduleurl=http://www.stormsurf.com/gadget/stormsurf .xml

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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