On Saturday (9/15) Northern CA surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to thigh high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was thigh high too. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was essentially flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were, you guessed it, thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high plus early. The South Shore was chest high. The East Shore was waist high with luck.
North/Central California was just starting to see the first dribbles of southern hemi swell, but very small. Southern California was just starting to get the first leading edge swells from the first in a series of southern hemi swells. Hawaii was getting a surprising taste of Fall with swell on the North Shore and still decent yet fading southern hemi swell on the South Shore. Nothing was happening on the East Shore. The big story is that southern hemi swell is in the water and expected to hold in to some degree for at least the next week, and possibly longer in California. A series of 4 gales have pushed east from under New Zealand generating small but decent swell that has been hitting Hawaii for a few days now and is just starting to works it's way into California. One more is developing on the southern most edge of the Hawaiian swell window expected to build moderately while pushing more into the California swell window. After that things to settle down, but there's also some hope up north. On Monday a decent gale is forecast over the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians, possibly setting up small to moderate swell for later in the week for both Hawaii and California. So it isn't expected to be flat for a while now. Go out there and enjoy a little late summer surf and keep your eyes on the horizon. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Saturdays jetstream charts (9/15) for the North Pacific indicated a weak to moderate flow pushing west to east under the Aleutians with one small pocket of wind energy just starting to push off the Kuril Islands. Winds were only 130 kts though. No support for surface level low pressure development yet. Over the next 72 hours that area is to push east and develop into a decent trough on the dateline with winds building to 150 kts though focused more on the eastern edge of the trough rather than the more favorable western quadrant. Still it should provided a decent environment for gale development at the oceans surface. Beyond 72 hours that trough to rapidly fade and build into a ridge over the Gulf of Alaska while a new trough tries to set up over the dateline again, but doesn't make it. By next weekend another decent batch of wind energy is to be pushing off the Kuril's bound for the dateline, possibly setting up a repeat scenario, but that's mainly just a guess.
Note: We've made a major upgrade to our jetstream forecast models. They now includes topographic landmasses with the jet flowing over it. As before, wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. Take a look here:( NPac, SPac )
At the surface today weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was in-control of the waters between Hawaii and California and driving a decent fetch of easterly winds pushing into and over Hawaii at 15-20 kts, typical trades. IN the extreme northeastern Gulf of Alaska the remnants of Tropical Storm Danas were pushing inland into Canada with winds 35 kts, but they didn't get any traction on the oceans surface, so no hop there. Otherwise generic weak high pressure was in control of the Western Pacific. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (9/18) a new broad low pressure system is to be building off the Kuril Islands (Siberia) starting Sunday and pushing to the dateline late with pressure 980 mbs and winds building from 25 kts aimed towards Hawaii and California. By Monday AM (9/17) 35-40 kts winds are modeled at 47N 175E aimed a bit west of the Islands, but actually trying to make an impression on the oceans surface. By evening winds to be increasing their footprint and up to 40-45 kts focused more to the east at 47N 178W aimed best towards California up the 305 degree great circle path with sideband energy aimed 30 degrees east of the 330 degree path to Hawaii. Seas forecast to 25 ft in this area. The core of the low to be lifting north into the Bering Sea Tuesday AM (9/18) with 30-35 kts wind lingering south of the Aleutians and fading fast, gone by nightfall. 27 ft seas are modeled at 50N 174W in the AM pushing almost exclusively east. Improving odds for some form of small but rideable North Pacific swell for both Hawaii and California if this comes to pass. Will monitor.
Otherwise high pressure to build to 1032 mbs in the northeastern Pacific starting to set up a pressure gradient and north winds along the California coast Tuesday and continuing the steady flow of 15-20 kt trades over the Hawaiian Islands. Short period local windswell the expected result.
Tropical Storm Nari on Saturday (9/15) was midway between China nd the southern tip of Japan pushing north towards Korea with winds 95 kts. It is expected to make landfall there Sunday AM and then rapidly decline in strength. It's remnants are forecast to push northeast through the Sea of Japan through Tuesday (9/18) with winds maybe 35 kts. Not much is to be left by the time it enters the North Pacific, if at all. No swell generation potential for our forecast area.
No other systems were being monitored.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (9/15) weak high pressure at 1026 mbs was 1200 nmiles west of San Francisco and not having any effect on the California coast. A light local wind pattern was in play.It is to start pushing east late Sunday with northwesterly winds on the increase by sunset over the entire coast continuing into Monday through pulling away from Southern CA. Still Central and North Ca to be seeing 20 kts winds nearshore. On Tuesday pressure to really start rising in the high to 1032 mbs while weak low pressure sets up inland, resulting in a strong pressure gradient and north winds building to 30 kts over Northern CA and 20-25 kts down into Pt Conception and impacting the coast. A real mess is likely. Finally Wednesday the fetch is to start consolidating near Cape Mendocino at 30-35 kts with winds south of the pulling away from the coast but not very much. Things to start clearing out Thursday (9/20) with fetch pulling away from the coast and holding at 30-35 kts. Cleaner windswell to be in-play holding through Friday then fading out fast after midnight.
Saturdays jetstream charts (9/15) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow in the Southwest Pacific with a weak trough gently rising in the southern branch, with a pocket of winds at 160 kts pushing east through it. These winds were favorable and helping to develop low pressure at the oceans surface. In the Southeast Pacific the flow converged and was pushing firmly south into Antarctica under Chile. No hope there. Over the next 72 hours that pocket of wind energy is to push due east and fade, gone by late Sunday. The core of the trough it was flowing through to be pushing east too and weakening, with only a weak trough remaining in the Southeast Pacific by Tuesday and not capable of supporting low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours a diffuse jetstream pattern to prevail into Thursday (9/20) then maybe a weak new trough is to develop in the Central South Pacific, but of no real interest. The short of it is that after this weekend (9/16) odds to drop off for supporting surface level low pressure development.
At the oceans surface today a gale low was tracking across the South Pacific (see details below). After is passes a calm pattern to settle in with no swell producing weather systems forecast.
New Zealand Storm
On Wednesday AM (9/5) a 968 mb low started to build under New Zealand producing a tiny area of 45 kt winds at 60S 160E just barely off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. Actually the QuikSCAT satellite confirmed winds at 50 kts solid late morning. Winds were aimed due east or 45 degrees east of the 201 degree great circle path to Hawaii and 20 degrees east of the 213 degree path to California. Seas modeled at 29 ft at 60S 155E. In the evening winds were supposedly on the upswing fast reaching 50-55 kts at 59S 175E again aimed almost due east. but the QuikSCAT satellite reported winds of only 50 kts. These winds were aimed 50 degrees east of the 195 degree path to Hawaii and 20 degrees east of the 208 degree path to California and becoming shadowed by Tahiti. Seas modeled at 33 ft at 60S 175E. No Jason-1 satellite passes came near the fetch.
On Thursday AM (9/6) storm pressure was 956 mbs with winds fading from 50 kts at 57S 175W aimed more to the northeast or 55 degrees east of the 188 degree path to Hawaii and 30 degrees east of the 206 degree path to California but shadowed by Tahiti. Seas were building at 37 ft at 57S 177W. In the evening 45 kt residual fetch was confirmed 55S 160W aimed northeast and aimed over 70 degrees east of the 181 degree path to Hawaii and 25 degrees east of the 200 degree path to California. Seas fading from 36 ft at 56S 163W. The Jason-1 satellite made 2 passes within 6 hours of each other over the outer edges of this systems and confirmed seas there were at or one foot short of what was modeled by the Wavewatch III wavemodel. So this builds some confidence the core of the storm was on-track as well.
By Friday AM (9/7) all fetch was gone and seas fading from 30 ft at 54S 153W, attributable all to previous days fetch.
This was a rather short storm of moderate strength. All fetch relative to Hawaii was aimed well east of any great circle track there, limiting the amount of energy pushing north. And California, though well in the main swell vector, had Tahiti sitting right in the middle of the swell's path, shearing some size and consistency off of whatever swell is generated. But, after Thursday morning the seas moved into an unshadowed position, increasing hopes that a small amount of full energy will sneak in. In all it should be fun sized, but nothing more (utility class, not significant class).
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (9/14) at 1 PM with period 20 secs and size tiny and very inconsistent. Probably not even noticeable. Swell building slowly through the evening. Swell period to 18 secs early Saturday with size coming up to the 2 ft range (3 ft faces - 4 ft best breaks). Swell peaking near 11 PM Saturday (9/15) at 2.6 ft @ 17 secs with rare sets to near 3 ft (4.5-5.0 ft faces - 6 ft best breaks). Decent energy to continue Sunday (9/16) with swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best breaks 5 ft). Residual energy to continue Monday (9/17) with swell 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) and fading. Period down to 14 secs near 11 PM and fading out. Swell Direction: 203-209 degrees
Northern CA: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (9/14) at 5 PM with period 20 secs and size tiny and very inconsistent, not even noticeable. Swell building slowly through the evening. Swell period to 18 secs mid Saturday (9/15) with size coming up to the 2 ft range (3 ft faces - 4 ft best breaks). Swell peaking near 3 AM Sunday (9/16) at 2.6 ft @ 17 secs with rare sets to near 3 ft (4.5-5.0 ft faces - 6 ft best breaks). Decent energy to continue through the day with swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft faces - best breaks 5.5 ft). Residual energy to continue Monday (9/17) with swell 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) and fading later in the day. Period down to 14 secs first light Tuesday (9/18) and fading out. Swell Direction: 201-210 degrees
Second Small New Zealand Gale
A small gale originated under New Zealand late Friday (9/7) in association with a 972 mbs low there, generating 40 kts fetch aimed northeast at 60S 160E aimed towards Hawaii and California reasonably well. It pushed east Saturday AM increasing in size some with winds still 40-45 kts at 57S 180W. Seas were up to 29 ft at 57S 170E. Winds built to 45-50 kts late Saturday at 56S 170W aimed due east or 35 degrees east of the 204 degree path to California and almost unshadowed by Tahiti and 70 degrees east of the 187 degree path to Hawaii. 35 ft seas were modeled at 57S 175W. The Jason-1 satellite made two passes directly over this fetch late Saturday reporting seas 35-37 ft solid peak singular readings to 40-41 ft. So this one is exactly as the WW3 model predicts. The fetch totally collapsed Sunday AM (9/9) though residual seas from previous day fetch peaked at 36 ft at 57S 162W. Small utility class swell likely for both Hawaii and California 7 and 9 days out respectively.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting Saturday (9/15) near 6 AM with period 20 secs and size barely noticeable. Swell getting rideable by Sunday (9/16) at 6 AM as period moves to 17 secs. Swell peaking late morning at 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best breaks to 5.5 ft). Swell fading from 2.7 ft @ 15 secs Monday AM (4 ft faces) with period dropping to 14 secs by sunset. Swell Direction: 183-196 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival starting Monday (9/17) before sunrise with period 20 secs and size not even noticeable. Size building through the day. Swell to start becoming rideable Tuesday AM (9/18) with period dropping to 17 secs about noon. Swell 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft) then. Swell holding in the 2.3 ft @ 15 sec range (3.5 ft faces) Wednesday (9/19). Swell dropping from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3 ft faces) at noon Thurs (9/20). Swell Direction: 203-211 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival starting Monday (9/17) just before sunrise with period 20 secs and size not even noticeable. Size building through the day. Swell to start becoming rideable Tuesday mid-morning (9/18) with period dropping to 17 secs about 3 PM. Swell 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft) then. Swell holding in the 2.3 ft @ 15-16 sec range (3.5-4.0 ft faces) Wednesday (9/19). Swell dropping from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3 ft faces) Thurs (9/20) with period down to 14 secs by 6 PM. Swell Direction: 203-211 degrees
Another New Zealand Gale
On Tuesday AM (9/11) a small 968 mb gale was starting to develop south of New Zealand with winds confirmed at 40-45 kts at 60S 172E with fetch aimed northeast or right up the 211 degree great circle path to California and 20 degrees east of the 193 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were building. In the evening winds were confirmed at 40-45 kts at 55S 175E aimed northeast, or right up the 208 degree path to California but shadowed by Tahiti and 30 degrees east of the 189 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled building to 32 ft at 56S 177W. the Jason-1 satellite passed over the outer edge of the fetch and indicated seas 26 ft, 2 feet less than what was modeled.
On Wednesday AM (9/12) winds held at 40-45 kts and expanded slightly in coverage at 50S 162W aimed just east of due north. These winds were aimed right up the 204 degree path to California (but still shadowed by Tahiti) and 25 degrees east of the 182 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 32 ft at 51S 165W. In the evening winds held at 40-45 kts at 50S 150W aimed more to the northeast now or 10 degrees east of the 200 degree path to California and unshadowed by Tahiti and 35 degrees east of the 175 degree path to Hawaii. Sea were fading at 30 ft @ 48S 157W. The Jason-1 satellite passed right over the fetch and indicated seas at 29 ft or within 1 ft of the Wavewatch3 model. Not too bad. But a second pass 6 hrs later put seas 2 ft less than what the models suggested.
On Thursday AM (9/13) the last little bit of wind energy was confirmed at 40 kts aimed more north again at 48S 145W. They were aimed 10 degrees east of the 195 degree great circle path to California but well outside the Hawaiian swell window. Seas were fading from 30 ft at 47S 149W. By evening this system was gone with seas falling below 28 ft.
This gale was not a particularly strong one, but held together a little longer than ones before it and of far more interest, it was actually tracking more northeast (versus east) pushing more swell energy towards our forecast area. Seas were pretty moderate though in the 32 ft range and even that might be a 1 or so more than actually based on data from the Jason-1 satellite. Given it's relative close proximity to the Hawaiian Islands and more northerly course, solid utility class plus swell could radiate towards the Islands. California still has the issue with the Tahitian swell shadow chopping a good 25% of the swell size while in the shadow, and the long travel distance and moderate sea heights. But the gale moved east of the shadow providing a little hope late in it's life. Suspect more of the same as previous swell though, with utility class swell 9 days out for CA.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting arriving late Tuesday (9/18) at 2 ft @ 17-18 secs (3.5 ft faces). Swell picking up on Wednesday (9/19) just before sunrise as period drops to 17 secs peaking mid-morning at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (4 ft faces - best breaks to 5 ft) holding through the day. Swell fading from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs through the day Thursday (9/20) (3.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 180-187 degrees
South California: Expect swell arrival Friday (9/21) at about 1 AM with period 18 secs and size tiny but on the increase. Size becoming decently rideable by sunrise building into the afternoon when period hits 16 secs. Swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best break to 5.5 ft) Swell fading Saturday (9/22) from 2.6-2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft). Swell dropping from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs even before first light Sunday (9/23) (3.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 201-209 degrees
North California: Expect swell arrival Friday (9/21) at about 4 AM with period 18 secs and size tiny but on the increase. Size becoming decently rideable by mid-day build into the late afternoon when period hits 16 secs. Swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best break to 5.5 ft). Swell fading Saturday (9/22) from 2.6-2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft). Swell dropping from 2.6 ft @ 14 secs first light Sunday (9/23) (3.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 198-207 degrees
Final Storm - Southeast Pacific
A new gale started building under New Zealand Friday morning (9/14) with pressure 960 ms and winds to near 40 kts. By evening it had a moderate area of 50-55 kt winds aimed to the east-northeast at 55S 165W aimed 25 degrees east of the 201 degree path to California (unshadowed from Tahiti) and 45 degrees east of the 184 degree path to Hawaii. Seas building to 30 ft at 56S 165W.
Saturday AM (9/15) winds to build to 45 kts solid over a broad area centered at 53S 155W aimed like before or aimed 25 degrees east of the 197 degree path to California and outside the Hawaiian swell window. 36 ft seas are forecast at 56S 160W. In the evening 40-45 kts winds to hold at 49S 140W aimed well northeast or 30 degrees east of the 192 degree path to California with stronger fetch moving in from the west at 45 kts. Seas building to 37 ft at 52S 143W.
The two fetch areas to merge Sunday AM (9/16) with 50 kt fetch set up at 54S 143W but aimed due east or 60 degrees east of the 189 degree path to California. Seas fading to 35 ft at 48S 133W while the reinvigorated fetch gets traction on the oceans surface. In the evening a tiny area of 55 ks fetch is forecast at 55S 125W aimed 45 degrees east of the 180 degree path to CA, then out of the swell window. 38 ft seas are modeled at 53S 130W moving out of the CA swell window in 6 hrs.
This to be a fairly intense storm, strongest of any so far in this storm cycle. But it's to be positioned mostly in the Southeast Pacific with all it's fetch aimed pretty well to the east, limiting any exposure to the Hawaiian Islands. California to be situated better with the first part of the storm actually pushing fetch and seas reasonably well up the great circle paths there. And with seas in the 37 ft range and closer than in previous systems, this is an added bonus. Plus no interference from Tahiti is expected either, so there is better potential here. Possible significant class swell to result with some luck. And even more energy to be focused on Central America down into Peru and Chile. Will monitor.
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 high pressure to take a firm grip of the Northeastern Pacific forming a solid gradient off California with 30-35 kt north winds forecast over Cape Mendocino Wednesday through Friday (9/21) generating sizeable local windswell along exposed breaks in Central CA. This high to also continue trades blowing from California the whole way over Hawaii and 20 kts, with good odds of moderate local windswell along east facing shores of Hawaii through Thursday, then dropping off as the high fades. A calm pattern forecast thereafter into the weekend.
Beyond 72 hours the models suggest perhaps two more weak and short lived gales forming under New Zealand starting the middle of next week. But based on the projected jetstream configuration, that seems unlikely. No swell production of interest forecast.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table