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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 31, 2005 2:14 AM GMT
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 = 2.5 - 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 8/22 thru Sun 8/28
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   

Windswell for California
S. Hemi Swell Pushes Towards Hawaii

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (8/30) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and messy (again). South facing breaks were waist to chest high. Central California surf was waist to nearly chest high too. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to shoulder high at the better breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was also waist high with chest high sets at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with some bigger sets on occasion. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was thigh to waist high. The East Shore was flat.

Windswell in North California with fading southern hemi swell in the south end of the state was about all there was to report. Neither was outstanding but neither was it flat. Take what you can get. Southern hemi swell is pushing north with the potential for some decent surf in Hawaii by Wednesday and the days beyond. That too is to eventually reach California, but even more diminished in size. There was some suggestions of a storm developing under New Zealand by Thursday or so, but that has since evaporated from the charts. In all it's pretty dismal except for windswell and minimal southern hemi swell. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
On Tuesday (8/28) at the jetstream level the only feature of interest was a small and weak trough in the extreme northeastern Gulf of Alaska. It was incapable of supporting any surface level low development though. A ridge was over the dateline hampering any surface level development in the west (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to become a little more energetic but then cycling into Washington by Sunday (9/4) with stronger energy also building over the Kuril Islands, but not indicative of any surface level development initially.

At the surface on Tuesday there was nothing much to report. High pressure at 1028 mbs was filling the Eastern Pacific forming the start of a nice gradient off Cape Mendocino where 25-30 kt north winds and building windswell were confirmed. A little bit of low pressure was tucked into the northern Gulf of Alaska generating some 25 kt west winds aimed at Canada. Otherwise not swell producing features of interest were present (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the big high is expected to drift back to the west positioned northwest of Hawaii with the north wind gradient off Cape Mendocino fading some and low pressure holding if not getting a slightly better foothold in the Gulf of Alaska. Still local windswell for California to likely be the best thing going.

More model data here

 

California Offshore Forecast
Tuesday mornings local charts (8/30) indicate strong high pressure at 1030 mbs was positioned 1100 nmiles west of South Oregon ridging strongly towards California while weak low pressure was inland, generating the usual summertime pressure gradient of Cape Mendocino with the result being north winds confirmed at 25 to near 30 kts. This is good for generating local short period windswell or a little better. The gradient is to peak out on Wednesday (8/31) with low pressure pushes just barely off the coast, calming the local winds down while the fetch holds off the Cape at 30-35 kts. The high is to fade as low pressure builds in the Gulf of Alaska on Thursday into Friday with near placid conditions returning. But then on Saturday (9/3) the high is to rebuild and surge east again with north winds on the upswing, strongest by Monday (9/5) with windswell likely on the way up, though period to be in the junky range.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays (8/30) jetstream charts remained unchanged. A big ridge continued pushing under New Zealand and over the Ross Ice Shelf tracking east over Antarctica, totally shutting off the storm corridor there. The northern branch of the jet was flowing zonally (flat) west to east and was not of interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours no significant change in this pattern is suggested and no upper support for surface level storm development is suggested. A zonally (flat west to east flow) is expected in both branches of the jet.

At the surface today strong high pressure at 1032 mbs was over New Zealand ridging southeast to nearly the edge of Antarctic Ice keeping a lock on the storm corridor there. A second 1032 mb high was in the far Eastern Pacific doing the same things there. No swell producing fetch indicated anywhere in the South Pacific (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the pattern is to remain basically unchanged. Of note was a low forecast in the deep south central Pacific at 948 mbs producing 45-50 kts winds, but they are to be all aimed southeast towards Antarctica and mostly over the Ross Ice Shelf. A second low is to develop in the Tasman Sea sinking southeast, tracking under New Zealand and eventually entering the South Pacific proper on Thursday (9/1) but fading all the while. No swell producing fetch suggested.

More model data here

 

New Zealand Utility Class Storm
On Tuesday PM (8/23) a 952 mb storm developed south of New Zealand with winds initially confirmed at 50-55 kts over a tiny area centered at 56S 162E aimed northeast towards both Hawaii and the US West Coast. Seas were building. On Wednesday AM (8/24) winds dropped to the 40-50 kts range over the same tiny area aimed almost due north, well at Hawaii. Sea building to 36 ft centered at 56S 165E. But by the evening that fetch faded to near zero and turned it's force more to the east. Seas faded to 30 ft centered at 55S 175E and were fading fast. This system was gone by Thursday AM.The swell has a long way to travel, was generated by a tiny fetch that was short lived. Limited utility class swell possible for Hawaii and California, with Hawaii likely doing best due to it's closer proximity, but certainly nothing much. See QuikCAST's for details.

QuikCAST

 

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

North Pacific

Tuesdays (8/30) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours a trough is forecast for the dateline a week out ( Tuesday 9/6) with some 140 kt winds wrapping under it, possibly signaling a dent in dominant high pressure that has controlled that region. Will see if the models are right or whether this is just a phantom.

Beyond 72 hours at the surface another low pressure system is to drifting southeast from the Bering Sea into the Gulf of Alaska and towards the Pacific Northwest into early next week. Then high pressure is to again push east shutting off the Gulf and likely firing up the Cape Mendocino gradient again, with windswell generation potential on the increase mid-week for California. This surge in high pressure is also expected to lick up the trades for Hawaii with northeast windswell possibly on the increase by Monday into Tuesday (9/6).

 

South Pacific

Tuesdays upper level models (8/30) indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch is to remain unchanged. Ridge after ridge is to track east across the deep South Pacific and no upper level support for surface level low pressure development is suggested.

Late Wednesday (8/31) a small but strong storm is forecast to develop in the Tasman Sea tracking southeast. 24 hours later it is forecast to drift into the South PAcific with pressure 972 mbs and winds 45-50 kts aimed northeast towards HAwaii and California. It is forecast to bloom on Friday (9/2) sitting in the tiny hole in the jetstream aloft, with pressure down to 952 mbs and winds holding but covering a much larger area. A broad area of 29 ft seas to result, providing good opportunity for utility class swell to push towards Hawaii, though likely well decayed by the time it reaches the California coast. A slow fade is expected on Saturday (9/3). No other swell producing systems forecast.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

Rob Gilley Photgraphy: Please take amoment to check out the selection of limited print images availabe at Rob Gilleys webite. All images in the 2005 line were taken by Rob Gilley, an 19 year Surfer Magazine staff photographer, and are personally signed and numbered by him: http://www.pacificsurfgallery.com

Proposed Senate Bill To Restrict Free Weather Data Giving it only to Private Companies for re-sell to the Public. If you view the free info from buoys, wind, and weather currently provided on this and other sites, prepare to see it end if this bill gets passed. Read more here.

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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