On Tuesday (9/25) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and clean though a little warbled. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high pushing head high plus on the biggest sets. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist high with chest high with head high sets. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was up to the chest high plus range at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest high with head high sets at the best breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with bigger sets at the best break. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was essentially flat. The East Shore was waist high.
North/Central California was still getting southern hemi swell mixed with a little local windswell from the Gulf. Southern California was still basking in southern hemi swell, but this was the last of it. Hawaii was getting no swell of interest, and basically flat on both the North and South Shores. Small easterly windswell was lapping into the East Shore. The Southern Hemisphere is quiet with no swell in the water pushing north and none forecast to develop in the next week. The North Pacific is quickly turning into the best hope, though nothing of interest was occurring at the moment. If one is to believe the charts things are to start ramping up late this week (starting Friday) but that's far from certain just yet. It's only a computer generated phantom at this point, but a nice tease just the same. So for now enjoy whatever the ocean has to offer, but keep your eyes on the charts in the area of the Gulf of Alaska. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream charts (9/25) for the North Pacific indicated a reasonably energetic flow tracking generally west to east just under the Aleutians with on pocket of energy up to 150 kts positioned just west of the dateline. A small trough was directly over the Kuril Islands fixing to push east into the North Pacific and providing the only hope at present. Over the next 72 hours that trough to push east-northeast rising to the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians by Friday and becoming landlocked in the Bering Sea. Winds to hold in the 130-140 kts range over the width of the jet in the North Pacific. This pattern suggest low pressure pushing off Siberia but rising northeast and becoming landlocked too. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to spill east into the Northern Gulf of Alaska supported by a flow of 170 kt winds pushing south into it, providing good support for surface level low pressure development but limited to the far Northeastern Pacific into Sunday before the flow flattens out, only to be followed buy another trough moving through the Gulf Mon/Tues again at 170 kts. Not too bad if this develops as forecast.
Jetstream Models: We've upgraded our jetstream forecast models to includes topographic land with the jet flowing over it. Wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. See it here:( NPac, SPac )
At the surface today two 1028 mbs high pressure systems controlled the bulk of the North Pacific with one centered 1200 nmiles west of Cape mendocino CA and the second due west of it over the dateline. The two of these were generating a weak to moderate flow of 20-25 kts north winds over Cape Mendocino producing short period windswell for the California coast then turning southeast and pushing over the Hawaiian Islands at 20 kts, again providing limited short period windswell potential along east facing shores there. Weal low pressure was in the Bering Sea generating 25 kt west winds there roughing up the oceans surface some and extending just barely south of the Aleutians having the same affect there. But of more interest was a 1004 mb low trying to get jump started just off Northern Japan.
Over the next 72 hours through Friday (9/28) the double barreled high pressure system is to merge and sink a little south opening up a tiny window allowing the Japan low to push east into the Gulf of Alaska. On Wednesday (9/26) pressure to drop to 976 mbs with the core of the low just off Kamchatka. A short lived fetch of 45 kts to develop in it's south quadrant but rapidly fade before getting any traction. By Thursday the low is to be in the Bering Sea pushing over the dateline with a very limited fetch of 40-45 kt winds hanging just south of the Aleutians aimed due east aimed towards California and the Pacific Northwest. On Friday the low to slide into the Northern Gulf with a well defined fetch of 35-40 kt west winds pushing east near 50N 160-170W. Seas building to 29 ft late. Saturday the fetch to take aim more to the southeast but winds fading from 35 kts, down to 30 kts late with seas fading in the 25-27 ft range. This one to be gone by nightfall. Assuming all this comes true, which is a major assumption, possible larger swell could push into the Pacific Northwest and California early next week. but this is very far from certain, and likely just a fantasy at this early date.
Tropical Depression Francisco was pushing onshore over North Vietnam. No swell to result.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (9/25) high pressure at 1032 mbs was 1100 nmiles east of Pt Arena CA trying to ridge inland over the Pacific Northwest but not quite making it. It was generating a small fetch of 20-25 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino setting up weak local windswell, but was not affecting waters from Pt Arena southward with near calm winds in control. No change expected Wednesday and then even the weak fetch to the north to fade out, with a weak northwest flow at 10 kts controlling waters of the entire US west coast. High pressure to try and stage a comeback late Friday into Saturday with 15-20 kt northwest winds building nearshore, but then rapidly fading as low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska pushes south. A cold front to come tantalizingly close to the San Francisco area late Sunday (9/30), but fading before pushing inland. High pressure and northerly winds to build in behind the front late monday into Tuesday (10/2).
Tuesdays jetstream charts (9/25) for the South Pacific indicated a strong ridge pushing south over the Ross Ice Shelf under New Zealand while a flat flow was pushing east over the 60S latitude in the Southeast Pacific. Only limited support for low pressure development in the Southeast Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the ridge to push east eliminating potential for surface level gale development with a decreasing area of favorable jetstream flow becoming confined to the extreme Southeastern Pacific focused on Southern Chile. Beyond 72 hours the pattern to become even more entrenched with nothing in our forecast area capable of supporting low pressure development at the oceans surface.
At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in-play. And the winds that were present were aimed southeast towards Antarctica. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with all wind energy either aimed southeast or towards southern Chile. No activity forecast aimed north towards our forecast area. No swell generation potential relative to our forecast area indicated.
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 models suggest another slightly weaker low to follow, pushing off Siberia taking the northern route through the Bering Sea, then dropping into the Northern Gulf Monday (10/1) generating 35 kt westerly fetch aimed towards the Pacific Northwest then fading to 30-35 kts Tuesday but aimed more to the south towards California. 24-26 ft seas forecast aimed like the fetch. More possible northwest swell for the Pacific Northwest on down into California. But that is a wild leap of faith at this time.
This is probably the incarnation of the limit of any positive impact the current active phase of the MJO will have in the North Pacific (see below). Maybe it will have enough influence to induce one more system behind it with luck.
Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) - On Tuesday (9/25) the active phase of the MJO was still trying to make some headway into the North Pacific, pushing east over the Philippines but not making it much further east. The active phase is linked to increased gale/storm development in the vicinity north of where it is present during Fall/Winter months. The MJO travels along the equator from west to east. At this time it was having no impact on the Southern Oscillation Index with latest values near 1.0 and the 30 day average at 6.0), but the SOI was not venturing further into the positive range (a good thing) . No wind anomalies are reported either with trades well in-control. The models suggest the MJO to make only limited eastward progresses limping to the dateline by Oct 4th then dissipating. Therefore only very limited support for enhancing storm development patterns expected in the Gulf of Alaska and dateline regions, and that was likely occurring now.
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate no swell producing fetch aimed towards our forecast area. Summer is settling over the South Pacific.
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