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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 7, 2005 4:08 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 = 3.0 - 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 9/5 thru Sun 9/11
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 Still Main Menu Item
Strong Southern Hemi Storm Forecast

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (9/6) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high. South facing breaks were waist to maybe chest 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 best breaks where waist to maybe chest high but most breaks were waist high or less. 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 waist to chest high.

Both Hawaii's South Shore and Southern California top spots are seeing some rideable southern hemi swell, but not much more than chest high except for the rare set. This swell was fading in Hawaii with a downward trend expected. Swell to continue in California for the next few days though. A tiny storm passed through the Southeast Pacific over the long Labor Day weekend but seas remained just below the 29 ft level, meaning maybe some background swell to result for Southern CA long term. A much stronger system is on the charts though for later this week. And remnants of Typhoon Nabi to emerged into the far Western Pacific on Friday (9/9) which might help Hawaii some. In all the southern hemi storm on Thursday is likely the best hope. 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 (9/6) at the jetstream level there was no real features of interest. Energy was tracking at a good speed from the Kuril Islands northeast across the Aleutians into Alaska at up to 130 kts. aa mild trough was just starting to develop west of the dateline, but nothing noteworthy yet (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a steep trough is forecast to develop over the dateline with winds up to 140 kts wrapping around it but quickly pinching off. This looks capable of supporting a brief window of surface level storm development on Thursday (9/8). A big ridge is to persist in the east.

At the surface on Tuesday broad high pressure at 1028 mbs continued controlling the greater North Pacific centered 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii and ridging east to California and west past the dateline. Lower pressure was tracking over it to the north pushing through the Bering Sea. no swell producing fetch was being produced though. Fetch from the high was generating renewed trades over a broad area centered over Hawaii at 15-20+ kts and producing some windswell there. Also in California the usual north winds off Cape Mendocino were present at 20 kts, but not strong enough to generate anything more than minimal shirt period windswell. Typhoon Nabi was still in play, but well off it's peak windspeed (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 continue over Hawaii providing good windswell generation potential for the eastern shores of the Islands. Also the Cape Mendocino gradient is to start getting somewhat more active with north winds there at 20-25 kts and likely generating increased windswell for North and Central California. Typhoon Nabi to be pushing through the Sea of Japan and west of the Kuril Islands, still landlocked. Also a small low is to fire up just east of the dateline tracking fast to the north up the western flank of the Gulf of Alaskan high. Weak wind modeled at 40-45 kts for 18 hours early Thursday (9/8) before pushing north of the Aleutians maybe generating some windswell for Hawaii's North Shores. But that's far from guaranteed. Overall best bet's right now are on eastern windswell for Hawaii and northwest windswell for California.

More model data here

 

Tropics
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. On Tuesday (9/6) Nabi was over Southern Japan with sustained winds down to 75 kts. Beyond that things remain forecast to get a little interesting though highly speculative. Current models suggest Nabi to turn extratropical and recurve northeast tracking just west of the Kuril Islands and into the Kamchatka Peninsula by Friday (9/9) with 40-45 kts west winds pushing into exposed waters of the Northwest Pacific for a short period. But that fetch isn't to last long with Nabi tracking north into the Bering Sea and out of the picture. Swell remotely possible for Hawaii if this all plays out according to the script (which is unlikely).

 

California Offshore Forecast
Tuesday mornings local charts (9/6) indicated high pressure at 1030 mbs was centered north of Hawaii and 1200 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino moving slowly northeast. A small patch of 20-25kts north winds was blowing down the California coast producing small short period windswell.No real change for the next day, then by Thursday (9/8) the high is to build to 1034 mbs and move into the Gulf of Alaska. North winds at 25-30 kts forecast off Cape Mendocino, and a second area to develop further out at sea extending from off Canada south to well off San Francisco through early next week. This to generate solid windswell becoming most noticeable by Saturday (9/10) and continuing into next week. Will see what actually happens.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays (9/6) jetstream charts continue to provide a glimmer of hope long term. But right now it's the same pattern we've been suffering with all summer - a split jetstream. A small and weak trough continued in the deep Southeast Pacific but nothing of real interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours things are supposed to get interesting with a strong trough developing in the deep South Pacific just east of the dateline and pushing northeast to a point 1800 nmiles south of Tahiti. This one is easily the best trough we've seen in quite some time and looks possible to support storm development at the surface level.

At the surface today two 1028 mbs high pressure centers controlled the East and West Pacific with only one little 980 mb low tracking east towards Chile with no winds of interest and positioned outside the California swell window. No swell generation potential (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a complex storm is forecast to start developing just east of the dateline late on Wednesday (9/7) with pressure 968 mbs and winds forecast at 50-60 kts over a small but expanding area aimed north towards Tahiti and the US West Coast with sideband energy towards Hawaii. The storm itself is to track northeast and grow in area on Thursday (9/8) with a reasonably broad area of 50-60 kts winds aimed north towards the same targets all day. Seas building to 47 ft and expanding in coverage. The storm is to occlude and fade on Friday (9/9) but not before seas generated by the previous days fetch reach 50 ft pushing all north and northeast towards California but starting to push out of the Tahiti swell window and out of Hawaii's swell window. This storm to be gone by the evening. If this system develops a summertime significant class swell is possible for California with lesser energy pushing into Hawaii. Tahiti could fair very well from this system with all energy directed towards then an positioned only 1800 nmiles away, allowing the swell to clean up and organize but experience very little unrequired decay. As always, confidence low in this particular outcome until such time as it actually starts to form. But this is definitely worth watching.

More model data here

QuikCAST

 

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

North Pacific

Tuesdays (9/6) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the pinched trough over the dateline is to fade fast with another weaker trough developing off the Kuril's behind it. A big ridge is to persist over the Gulf of Alaska with a backdoor trough working it's way down the US west coast and pushing cleanly into Central CA by Sunday (9/11). Most unusual weather could result if this happens but no surface level swell producing storm development suggested.

Beyond 72 hours at the surface high pressure is to continue ruling the East Pacific 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 and beyond. With the big high pushing even further north Hawaii to start seeing diminished trades and slacking easterly windswell. Typhoon Nabi to be extratropical and forecast to push east of Kamchatka on Friday (9/9). A short lived fetch of 50-55 kts is to exist there aimed reasonably well at Hawaii and maybe a bit towards the US West Coast then fading as Nabi pushes north of the Aleutians just west of the dateline. Maybe some swell generation potential for Hawaii with seas projected at 29 ft right before the storm shuts down. Another low is to follow pushing off the Northern Kurils next Tuesday with 40-45 kt fetch aimed east. This might be the start of the first real storm of Fall.

 

South Pacific

Tuesdays upper level models (9/6) indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch is to remain active with a nice trough carved out into Sunday (9/11). some degree of surface level storm development is possible for that area through that time. But by Monday (9/12) the jet is to return to it's former ways, namely blowing flat west to east at a good clip with no troughs present. Storm development potential fading off.

At the surface beyond 72 hours out another strong storm is forecast to develop under New Zealand tracking east with 50-55 kts winds projected starting Saturday (9/10). Varying degrees of 40-45 kts winds are to persist through early Monday (9/12) as this system tracks east. this should be another decent swell producers if it develops, but nowhere near as good as the storm before it, mainly because all the fetch is to be aligned west to east rather than north to south, providing only indirect energy for Hawaii and the US West Coast with most energy heading towards South America.

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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