On Sunday (9/4) Northern CA surf was chest high and junky. South facing breaks were up to waist high. Central California surf was waist high with sets to nearly chest high at the best breaks. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high at the best breaks with most flat. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist to chest high at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to occasionally chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high and maybe a little more at the best spots. The East Shore was flat.
Hawaii's South Shore continues to take top honors with southern hemi swell providing solid fun sized surf in the chest high range on the sets. But this is about the end of it with the swell expected to slowly decline to near flat over the coming days. Conversely that swell is just starting to hit California, so a bit more energy is expected to be building there, but not getting more than about chest high at the best spots. Also windswell is forecast in the mix both in North CA and Hawaii. Further out a tiny storm is trying to organize in the mid-southern hemi today but hopes are low for anything of interest from it. A much more powerful system is on the charts starting Thursday (9/8) and holding for a few days focused on California with sideband energy pushing into Tahiti and Hawaii, but we'll have to see what actually develops (if anything). The North Pacific might get a little kick from the remnants of Typhoon Nabi currently bearing down on Japan, but that is equally as uncertain. Large summer class windswell is also forecast late next week for North CA. In all there's hope, but nothing certain. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (9/4) at the jetstream level there was no features of interest. Energy was tracking at a good clip up along the Kuril Islands across the Aleutians and into the Bering Sea at 130 kts, but a broad ridge over the dateline was directing all energy towards Alaska. Nothing of interest was in the east (animation here). Over the next 72 hours and broad trough trough is forecast to develop off the Kamchatka Peninsula reaching nearly the dateline with 130 kts winds circulating around it's western side. This looks capable of supporting surface level storm development. A big ridge is to persist in the east.
At the surface on Sunday one broad high pressure center at 1024 mbs continued to hold a controlling interest of the greater North Pacific. It was centered near the dateline ridging east to nearly California and west to Japan. Lower pressure was tracking over it tot eh north pushing through the Bering Sea then dropping south to the northmost Gulf of Alaska with no swell producing fetch was indicated. A broad fetch of 15-20+ kt trades had developed just east of Hawaii while in California the usual north winds off Cape Mendocino has subsided. The big standout feature was Typhoon Nabi (see Tropics section) (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the dominant high is to shift east centered northeast of Hawaii with pressure building to 1032 mbs. A large fetch of 20 kt east winds are to develop in it's southern flank pushing from Baja east to and over Hawaii and providing good windswell generation potential for the eastern shore of the Hawaiian Islands. Also the Cape Mendocino gradient is to start getting somewhat more active with north winds there in the 20-25 kts range and likely generating increased windswell for North and Central California. Typhoon Nabi to be pushing through the Sea of Japan, landlocked.
More model data here
On Thursday (9/1) Super Typhoon Nabi was located 420 nmiles southwest of Iwo Jima with sustained winds 140 kts (160 mph) tracking northwest. By Sunday (9/4) Nabi was positioned about 300 nmiles south of the southern tip of Japan with sustained winds 110 kts. Some slight strengthening forecast to 115 kts before it pushes over the extreme southern tip of Japan moving in to the Sea of Japan. Beyond that things get a little interesting through highly speculative. Current data suggest Nabi to turn extratropical and recurve northeast tracking just west of the Kuril Islands and into the Kamchatka Peninsula next Saturday (9/10) with 50-55 kts west winds pushing into exposed waters of the Northwest Pacific for a short period. But that fetch is to be short-lived with Nabi tracking north into the Bering Sea and out of the picture. No swell likely.
California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (9/4) indicated high pressure at 1026 mbs was centered north of HAwaii and 1400 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino. This was too far away to be generating any north winds of interest along the California coast. Small short period windswell was present from less than impressive north winds at 20 kts imaged just off Pt Arena. By Monday (9/5) the picture is to start changing with the high pushing east and north winds building along the entire coast from off the Channel Islands north to Southern Oregon at 20 kts. Short period windswell starting to build. This scenario to hold through mid-day Wednesday (9/7) when the high is then to build to 1034 mbs and move into the Gulf of Alaska. North winds at 25-30 kts forecast off Cape Mendocino, increasing to 30-35 kts on Thursday and expanding it's coverage and holding into Saturday morning (9/10). Solid windswell expected with pure swell 7-8 ft @ 9 secs. Will see what actually happens.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
Sundays (9/4) jetstream charts actually provide a glimmer of hope over the long term, the first in months. But initially it's the some old thing with a split jetstream pattern in control. A small and weak trough was evidenced this morning in the deep South Pacific but nothing of real interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the only point of interest is to be a trough developing in the deep South Pacific south of Tahiti and tacking east. This one is to support some possible development at the surface but winds flowing over it are to be weak and it is not expected to progress much to the north.
At the surface today a 960 mb low pressure system was positioned over the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf with some 35-45 kt fetch blowing over exposed waters. They were getting some traction on the oceans surface with seas modeled at 29 ft, but that is to last only 12 hours. Nothing else of interest was noted (animation here). Over the next 72 hours this little low is to track northeast living in the pocket of favorable winds provided by the jetstream aloft. Some reintensification is forecast with winds building to 45-50 kts over a tiny area aimed northeast through the day Monday (9/5). Seas forecast building to 30 ft over a tiny area late Monday holding into Tuesday while pushing east of the Southern California swell window. Some small utility class swell possible from this system for California if it develops as forecast.
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 starting Wednesday (8/31) and California on Saturday (9/3), with Hawaii likely doing best due to it's closer proximity. See QuikCAST's for details.
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Sundays (9/4) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the big trough in the west is to max out on Thursday (9/8) over the dateline with 140 kt winds projected there. Surface level storm development seems a likely possibility. A large and strong ridge to persist in the east. The trough is to pinch off and dissipate by the weekend though another trough looks possible beyond that.
Beyond 72 hours at the surface high pressure is to rule supreme in the East Pacific totally dominating the Gulf of Alaska. Windswell is to be the word with brisk north winds at 25-30 kts blowing down the Canadian and Pacific Northwest coasts setting up good potential for sizeable summer class windswell for North and Central CA for the weekend. Hawaii to also share in the fetch with 20-25 kts east winds expected over and east of the Islands. Typhoon Nabi to be extratropical and raging over Kamchatka. The last frame of the 7 day projection depicts the big high shifting west and starting to open some space in the Gulf of Alaska.
Sundays upper level models (9/4) indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch is to become active for the first time in months. On Wednesday (9/7) a small trough is to build in intensity slowly with 140 kt winds pushing into it from the west and getting a good push to the north. A large area supportive of storm development is possible at the surface centered near 150W. Even more energy is to flow into it by Sunday (9/11) reinvigorating it next weekend.
At the surface beyond 72 hours out a complex storm is forecast to start developing just east of the dateline on Wednesday (9/7) with pressure 960 mbs and winds forecast at 50-55 kts over a small area aimed north towards Hawaii, Tahiti and the US West Coast. The storm itself is to track northeast and grow in area on Thursday (9/8) with a broad area of 45-50 kts winds aimed north towards the same targets. Seas building to 32 ft and expanding in coverage. The storm is to deepen substantially on Friday (9/9) with pressure down to 940 mbs with 50-60 kts winds imbedded in a broad area of 40 kt + winds aimed northeast towards California but starting to push out of the Hawaii/Tahiti swell window. Seas building to 43 ft. This storm to spin out and fade on Saturday on the eastern edge of the California swell window. If this system develops a summertime significant class swell is possible for California with lesser energy pushing into Hawaii and Tahiti. As always, confidence low in this particular outcome at this time.
Details to follow...
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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table