On Thursday (10/4) Northern CA surf was head high and blown to bits. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high and junk. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest to head high with a few bigger peaks. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was more or less flat at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high at the better breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high thanks to wind swell. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
North/Central California continued getting swell from the Gulf of Alaska mixed with alot of locally generated chop and bump making for pretty messy surf. Southern California surf was all but non-existent with some 2-3 ft wrap around swell from the Gulf occasionally sneaking into exposed north facing breaks. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. Small tradewind generated windswell was hitting the East Shore and wrapping into exposed breaks on the South Shore. The Southern Hemisphere is asleep for the season. The North Pacific remains reasonably active but isolated to it's far northeastern quadrant bounded by the Northern Gulf of Alaska and off the Canadian coast. This was favoring the Pacific Northwest and California from Point Conception northward, but not doing anything for the Hawaiian Islands and Southern CA. A gale that persisted this week is on it's last legs but has pushing more short period swell towards the California coast expected to arrive the next 2 days (Fri/Sat). Beyond more of the same is forecast with weak gale activity scheduled over the weekend in the far Northern Gulf with a shift in the pattern south early next week. Nothing is certain, but the pattern looks to be holding for a while. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/4) for the North Pacific indicated a weak nearly consolidated flow pushing off Northern Japan to the dateline and moving just north of the Aleutian Islands. Then it gained energy with winds to 150 kts while barely pushing into the Eastern Bering Sea, turned south and pushed a bit off the Canadian coast forming a nearly landlocked trough there before turning inland over Northern California. Limited support for low pressure development off the Canadian coast. Over the next 72 hours this trough is to push inland by Saturday (10/6) while new energy tries to organize over the dateline on Sunday. Beyond 72 hours this new trough is to setup pushing into the Gulf of Alaska early Monday (10/8) with up to 190 kt winds digging-in to the south for a brief instant carving out a steep trough into Tuesday in the Gulf driving into Canada Wednesday. Good support for low pressure development in this trough expected. While this is going on a split flow is to set up in the North Pacific with the northern branch pushing even north of the Bering Sea, not good. Still a decent flow of 130 kts winds to be flowing flat just south of the Aleutians with a new trough theoretically trying to set up inland over Siberia. So maybe there will be some support for more low pressure in the Northwest Pacific long term, but that's more of an optimistic guess at this time.
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 strong high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered 1200 nmiles north of the Big Island fueling a continued enhanced flow of easterly trades over the Hawaiian Islands and generating small short period windswell along east facing shores. Weak low pressure was fading in the Gulf of Alaska falling down the Canadian coast and forming a weak pressure gradient as it interacted with the high pressure system to the west, generating 25-30 kts north winds. This was the tail end of a previous Gulf system (see details below). Over the next 72 hours another little low is to push from the Eastern Bering Sea into the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska generating 30-35 kt west winds Saturday (10/6) turning more to the northwest Sunday then fading. 20 ft seas forecast in the vicinity of 55N 145W forecast, good for more small 13 sec period swell for exposed breaks in the Pacific northwest down into Central CA early next week. This low to have a little influence pushing high pressure that has been dominating the Gulf more to the south, with it weakening to 1024 mbs and be pancaked just north of Hawaii by Sunday (10/7), continuing the flow of 20 kts easterly trades there producing more short period windswell. But it's to retreat from the California coast with calmer winds expected over outer waters.
Late Monday (10/1) low pressure set up in the northern Gulf of Alaska generating more 30 kt northwest winds and 21 ft seas while sinking southeast to a point just off the Pacific Northwest late on Thursday (10/4). More jumbled 12-13 sec period windswell expected for the Pacific Northwest and California starting late Thursday through Friday evening (10/5) then fading through the day Saturday. Swell expected in Central CA at about 5.6 ft @ 13 secs from 310-315 degrees.
Typhoon Krosa was 400 nmiles southwest of Taiwan with sustained winds 125 kts tracking northwest and looking pretty impressive. It is expected to push into northeastern Taiwan Saturday morning with winds still a healthy 115 kts, eventually turning to the north but not before moving inland into China. No apparent indication it will reenter the North Pacific.
Tropical Storm Lemika was well inland of North Vietnam and fading. No swell generation potential for our forecast area.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/4) high pressure at 1034 mbs was posed north of Hawaii and trying to ridge into the California coast but being held at bay by weak low pressure at 1008 mbs working it's way south down the Pacific Northwest coast. A pressure gradient and 25-30 kt north winds were being generated by the interaction of these tow systems. This low is to push inland over Northern CA early Friday with the gradient pushing over the coast resulting in 20-25 kt northerly winds nearshore in the afternoon even down into Southern CA. A real mess expected. High pressure to be right behind but fading fast, with 15-20 kts northwest winds possible Saturday in Central Ca, but maybe not that bad. Too close to call. The high to fade and low pressure to build in the Gulf by Sunday resulting in a much calmer wind pattern over all of California holding into Tuesday (10/9). Then a possible cold front with south winds and rain expected from the Gulf low early Wednesday AM reaching down into the San Francisco Bay area, but fading there. Back to calm later Wednesday into Thursday while another southerly tracking low sets up off the coast. A rather early wet season appears to be shaping up, at least for the north end of the state.
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/4) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow over the bulk of the Southern Pacific with no winds of interest suggested. Over the next 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is to become entrenched over Antarctica with no support for surface level low pressure indicated. Beyond 72 hours the pattern is to basically hold with the southern branch drifting a little more to the north, but still over the Ross Ice Shelf and totally land locked suppressing any chance for surface level gale development.
At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in-play in our forecast window. And the winds that were present were aimed doe south towards Antarctica. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast, with no winds of interest forecast.
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 that with the retreat of high pressure a new more southerly positioned regime of low pressure is to take up residence in the southern reaches of the gulf of Alaska Monday (10/8). Pressure to be 996 mbs but mostly set up right off the Pacific Northwest driving a thin fetch of 40-45 kt winds into the coast there raking up to Vancouver Island. Theoretically 35 ft seas are forecast by late Tuesday there, but all pushing north towards Alaska. Limited 25 ft seas might develop off the backside of this low near 45N 135W aimed south towards Oregon and North CA late Tuesday, offering a little hope for those locales.
In parallel a new broader low to be developing on the dateline Monday tracking much better into the Hawaii and California swell windows. 30-35 kts winds forecast in it's southwest quadrant pushing southeast from the Aleutians pushing up to the Pacific Norwest coast by Thursday (10/11), but seas only projected in the 19-20 ft range. Will monitor.
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate no potential for generation of swell producing fetch. The South Pacific is asleep.
Details to follow...
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) , Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) , Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) , Kelvin Wave
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table