On Thursday (8/9) Northern CA surf was barely waist high and gutless. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was pushing thigh high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was near flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were up to waist high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore had some occasional thigh high waves. The East Shore report was not available.
North/Central California continued receiving barely rideable short period northwest windswell. Southern California was getting a little mix of energy from 2 small southern hemi swells, one at 18 secs and another at 14 secs and each maybe 1.5 ft high and limited to south exposed breaks. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore with very limited easterly tradewind generated windswell on the East Shore. The South Shore was barely getting wrap-around tradewind swell. The North Pacific was sound asleep with no real swell producing systems occurring. Tropical Storm Flossie had developed though pushing west towards Hawaii maybe setting up something for early next week. The models suggest a very modest increase in windswell for CA by late week into the early weekend as high pressure moves back towards the Golden State, but the result to minimal and have no reach into Southern CA. Down south no gale activity of interest has occurred in the Southern Hemisphere and none is forecast until early next week, when a gale is forecast to maybe slide under New Zealand possibly setting up more small to moderate swell pushing towards Hawaii, but too small to have any impact on California. And bear in mind that is just a forecast, and may not come to fruition. And there's still a weeks travel time if it does occur before energy actually hits Hawaii. So until that time it's to remain small and uneventful. In the mean time were busy working on upgrading our models and providing new content for the site. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (8/9) for the North Pacific indicated no energy of interest with a weak flow pushing off Japan tracking fast to the Aleutians near the dateline then hanging just north of the Aleutians on into Alaska. Over the next 72 hours things to remain weak, though a small steep trough is to dip south of the Aleutians near the dateline on Friday/Sat (8/11) while a second backdoor trough bulges off Canada into the Gulf of Alaska, though nothing of interest is expected to result at the oceans surface. Beyond 72 hours the backdoor trough is to persist off southern British Columbia through next week with energy from the Bering Sea joining it late in the week. Maybe some surface low pressure to result, but overall upper wind speeds are to be light.
At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered well north of Hawaii in the western Gulf of Alaska, but too distant from either California or Hawaii to have any impact. In fact no winds of interest were indicated anywhere in the North Pacific other than those associated with Tropical Storm Flossie (see details below). Over the next 72 hrs through Sunday (8/12) the Hawaiian high pressure system is to push a little east generating a faint bit of northerly winds along the Northern California coast Friday into early saturday in the 20 kt range focused on Cape Mendocino, maybe enough for bare minimal windswell generation down into Central CA. Easterly tradewinds to start building Sunday over Hawaii as Flossie pushes east with windswell building along north and east facing shores. Other than that, calmness to prevail.
On Thursday (8/9) Tropical Storm Flossie was 1600 nmiles east southeast of the Big Island tracking basically due west at 12 kts with sustained winds at 45 kts mainly in her north quadrant (where she was interacting with high pressure to the north). This track to hold with winds slowly building, reaching minimal hurricane status Friday evening holding for only12-18 hours, then starting to decay. Current projection put Flossie 350 nmiles southeast of Hilo Tuesday Am (8/14) with sustained winds 45 kts and weakening. Flossie to pass south of the Islands and fading through Thursday. good potential for easterly windswell if this plays out as forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (8/9) high pressure at 1032 mbs was well west of Cape Mendocino barely ridging into land there and generating a small area of 20 kts northerly winds and minimal northerly windswell for Central CA. Most of this fetch was pulled away from land south of Pt Reyes making for reasonably clean surface conditions. This to continue into early Saturday then fading with winds dropping to the 15 kt range but pushing right up to the coast, increasing the odds for chopped conditions north of Pt Conception. A brisk 15-20 kt nearshore flow to continue through next week with the core of the fetch centered over Pt Conception and nearshore winds brisk from the north, making a mess of things. Short period windslop the likely result over Central CA. South CA to remain shadowed from the local chop, but also most of any windswell.
Thursdays jetstream charts (8/9) for the South Pacific remained unchanged with a split flow in control. Most energy was in the northern branch (up to 150 kts) undulating from over Northern New Zealand with ridges and troughs pushing steadily southeast almost merging with the southern branch of the jet just off extreme southern Chile. The southern branch was flowing flat west to east over the 70th latitude line, completely landlocked over the Ross Ice Shelf. There was no indication of any support for surface level gale production. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (8/12) the southern branch to push even further south continuing the blockade over the Southeast Pacific. But it's to move a bit north under New Zealand by Sunday offering a little hope. Beyond 72 hours that trough (northward push) under New Zealand is to track east through late Monday, offering a glimmer of hope for low pressure development at the oceans surface, then dissipate with the jet scrapping over Antarctic Ice again late Wednesday shutting any hope down. no change forecast thereafter through the end of the workweek.
At the surface today a neutral pressure pattern was in-play over the greater South Pacific and no winds greater than 25 kts were indicated. A broad low pressure system at 952 mbs was south of Tasmania tracking east, but not affecting the Southwest Pacific yet. Over the next 72 hours that low is to spill fast to the south and east moving into the far reaches of the Pacific, but also diving over Antarctic Ice just as fast and getting no foothold over exposed waters to the north. Bear in mind this is the height of the southern hemisphere winter, and the Ross Ice Shelf extends north to near 60S, shutting off alot of otherwise exposed ice-free waters from swell production.
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 the Gulf high pressure system to again retreat to the northwest with northwesterly winds fading out along the northern California coast early next week (8/13), but holding in relation to Hawaii. With TS Flossie near to the Hawaiian Islands, a good amount of local easterly windswell is expected there especially as Flossie pushes south of there mid-week. California to see northerly winds regenerating mid-week too but repositioned over Pt Conception. These winds to start building north by late in the workweek in the 25-30 kt range, likely bound for Cape Mendocino by the weekend increasing the odds for windswell production for Central CA with wrap-around components filtering into South CA. And the fetch to increase in size south and west pushing the whole way to Hawaii late week, increasing to odds for yet more easterly windswell there.
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that low pressure under New Zealand is to try and organize starting Monday (8/13) with pressure 980 mbs and really unorganized. Still a fetch of 40-45 kt winds is to develop aimed a bit to the northeast near 58S 170E-170W producing a tiny area of near 30 ft seas in the evening. it to track off the the northeast and fade Tuesday with seas below 25 ft mid-afternoon while strong high pressure at 1040 mbs pushes east off new Zealand sending the swell vector back east and away from our forecast area. If this all plays out as forecast some form of small swell seems likely for Hawaii and even less for exposed breaks mainly in Southern CA.
Details to follow...
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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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table