On Saturday (10/8) Northern CA surf was head high to a little more and coming up with poor conditions. South facing breaks were chest to head high and maybe a little more coming from the southern hemi (Swell #6S). Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high with some near head high sets at the best breaks though most were smaller. The LA area southward into Orange County was chest to head high with some bigger sets at the best breaks coming from Swell #6S. Southward to San Diego waves were chest to head high with some bigger sets. The North Shore of Oahu was up to waist high. The South Shore was head high and fading. The East Shore was head high with some bigger sets.
The last real swell of the Summer Season is fading along Hawaii's South Shore but maxing in Southern California with waves head high and a little more on the bigger sets. New north swell is also moving into North California with much larger surf expected near sunset today but with poor conditions. This swell to fade out quickly in the north while pushing into the south end of the state for Sunday. In all it's to be very short lived. A mix of piddling surf expected next week while a new stronger storm pushes east over the Aleutians generating solid swell pushing south into Hawaii and towards California. An yet another solid storm is forecast late next week for the northern Gulf of Alaska. No shortage of potential on the charts. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (10/8) the jetstream continued it's solid march west to east with pockets of wind energy at 150 kts. One small trough was over the dateline but nothing remarkable. A generally zonal flow to continue through next weekend then there's indications it's to fall apart. Today high pressure at 1024 mbs was still centered north of Hawaii while a new high at 1032 mbs was set up north of it over the dateline ridging up to the Aleutians, blocking the storm corridor. Generic weak low pressure was in the Gulf of Alaska pushing east while a stronger system was building over the Kuril Islands tracking northeast up the west flank of the new dateline high. No swell generating fetch was present yet. Otherwise north winds were pushing down the California coast at 20-25 kts and over the Hawaiian Islands in the 20 kt range making for generally short period windswell at both locations.
Over the next 72 hours the storm track to remain active. Two systems of interest forecast. First (and of least concern) is a quick little storm forecast off the Canadian coast on Sunday (10/9). Pressure to go from nothing to 968 mbs in about 12 hours with winds building to 50-55 kts just as fast centered near 52N 145W aimed right down the great circle path to North CA but on the northmost edge of the swell window there. This system to track right into the mid-Canadian coast by late afternoon. A very brief shot of 28 ft seas are to be aimed towards North California before this system pushes out of the swell window and into Canada. Maybe some utility class swell, but that's it.
Of far more interest is the expected development of the Kuril Island low. On Sunday AM (10/9) it is to start pushing off the southern Kamchatka Peninsula with pressure 972 mbs with 50-55 kt west winds pushing down the 308 degree path to California and the 324 degree path to Hawaii, aimed at a point mid-way between the two locations. High pressure currently blocking the dateline storm path is to give way opening a corridor to the Gulf of Alaska. Seas building to 28 ft. By the evening the storm is to be tracking east directly over the Aleutians with pressure holding and a reasonably broad area of 45-50 kt west winds are to be centered at 48N 172E aimed due east or east of the 325 degree path to Hawaii and right down the 308 degree path to California. Seas forecast at 37 ft centered at 50N 170E. Not much change expected by Monday AM (10/10) as the storm pushes over the dateline with 45-50 kt winds holding at 48N 178E aimed due east cutting across the 331 degree path to Hawaii but aimed right up the 306 degree path to California. Seas building to 39 ft centered at 48N 177E. By nightfall things to be winding down with winds barely 40 kts centered at 48N 170W aimed right at California down the 300-305 degree path but pretty much at a 80 degree angle to any path into Hawaii, ending their fetch. Seas dropping to 35 ft centered at 47N 175W. Residual 35-40 kt fetch to continue into Tuesday AM (10/11) all aimed like before but fading fast. 30 ft seas forecast at 47N 166W and fading out.
In all this is to be a nice little storm, though positioned too far away from California to be optimal and the fetch is to be aimed too east to favor Hawaii. Still solid winter utility class swell with a 17 sec+ period is expected if this system unfolds as currently modeled. Will monitor.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Second Larger Pulse
On Monday (10/3) the second low in the series pushed off the Kamchatka Peninsula tracking into the Bering Sea on Tuesday (10/4). Some degree of 30 kt winds remained south of the Aleutians tracking east with seas building to 20 ft. This was somewhat less than what was expected based on earlier runs of the models. Things started getting interesting early Wednesday (10/5) as the core of the low started pushing south over the Central Aleutians and into the Gulf of Alaska with pressure 980 mbs. Winds were confirmed at 40-45 kts centered at 50N 160W-170W aimed right at North CA down the 307-308 degree path and South CA down the 310-311 degree path. Seas were confirmed 27 ft early building to 30 ft (per the WW3 wave model) and up to 33 ft per the Jason-1 satellite centered at 50N 165W (in the AM) and 50N 158W (in the PM). Winds were fading out late Wednesday into early Thursday (10/6) with winds down to 30-35 kts and seas fading to 25 ft centered at 50N 151W. This swell hit buoy 46006 at 3 AM Friday (10/7) peaking from 9 AM-4 PM with pure swell 10.4 ft @ 16.2 secs, then on the decline.
Decent swell energy expected for North CA starting Saturday (10/9) 9 AM with 17 sec energy building through the day. Swell to reach 6-7 ft @ 15-16 secs by sunset (9-10 ft faces) fading some overnight. Some energy to continue Sunday AM (10/9) but much smaller, at 4-5 ft @ 14 secs (6-7 ft faces) and fading from there. Swell Direction: 307-308 degrees
Some swell to push into Southern CA, with most energy hitting Sunday AM at 2.0-2.5 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) mainly at exposed north facing breaks in San Diego and intermixing with southern hemi swell expected to be arriving at the same time. Swell Direction 310-311 degrees
Only sideband energy pushing south into Hawaii with most energy passing east of the Islands.
California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (10/8) high pressure at 1026 mbs remained centered north of Hawaii ridging to the east to California continuing a steady northerly flow over the coastal waters. Though a continuous string of low pressure systems is to work their way through the Gulf of Alaska over the coming week, none are to yet make any significant inroads into the California area with high pressure holding on reflecting the associated cold fronts to the north. The net effect is that the high pressure is to keep a persistent pressure gradient in-place off Cape Mendocino with varying degrees of north winds in the 20-25 kt range there occasionally pushing south to Pt Reyes and near the Bay Area creating mixed lumpy conditions, though local winds are to generally be light well into next weekend.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell producing tropical systems forecast.
The storm pattern has failed in the southern Hemi. A large ridge is in the upper levels of the atmosphere pushing south over the Ross Ice Shelf and under Chile shearing any storm system that might try and develop. In response to that ridge strong high pressure at 1024 mbs was over the Central South Pacific ridging south to the Ross Ice Shelf. No swell generation potential forecast.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
On Wednesday AM (9/28) a solid low developed southeast of New Zealand with pressure 958 mbs producing a broad fetch confirmed at 40-45 kt winds centered at 48S 174W aimed northeast. In the evening the system was building with winds confirmed at 40-50 kts over a broad area roughly centered at 54S 160W aimed north and northeast towards Hawaii, Tahiti and California. Seas built to 30 ft centered near 48S 172W. No good Jason-1 satellite passes occurred to verify sea height info.
By Thursday AM (9/29) the system maxed out from a pressure perspective down to 936 mbs with some degree of 45-50 kt winds confirmed centered at 47S 168W aimed northeast with seas modeled at 32 ft centered at 47S 170W. These winds were aimed towards California up the problematic 205-209 degree path, and well up the 185-187 degree path to Hawaii. In the evening winds continued at 40-45 kts centered at 46S 168W. Seas mostly from previous days fetch were modeled at at 37 ft centered at 46S 165W, again with the Society Islands providing shadowing problems for California.
A quick decay settled in Friday AM (9/30) as the storms core split in two with the southern core holding stationary while the northern core rotated around it tracking towards Antarctica. This directed the remaining wind energy towards Antarctica. Still some 40 kts winds persisted in the storms northwest quadrant aimed like before centered near 44S 156W but mostly out of the Hawaiian Swell window. Seas modeled at 35 ft centered at 43S 159W and fading fast. By the evening the systems is to rapidly decay with no additional fetch of seas being generated. Animation
This was not a great system, with winds really fragmented and not getting a good hold on the oceans surface for any great length of time in any one area. And top winds were only 50 kts, and that over a limited area and time. You really have to see the QuikSCAT imagery to see the problem. Still, the best winds were consistently imbedded in a good area of 30+ kt southerly winds with a good sized footprint. It is believed that some decent swell is radiating north, through no good Jason-1 satellite passes have occurred to confirm this. Hawaii and Tahiti to get the lions share of the swell. The issue with California is that Tahiti and the Society Islands are sitting right in the middle of the swell window, having some degree of shadowing affect on the resulting swell, especially true for the Northern half of the state. This to be no issue for Hawaii though. But overall, this was just a standard significant class storm.
South California: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (10/7) at 2 AM with period at 19-20 secs but size tiny if even noticeable. Maybe something to ride by sunset with swell 2.6 ft @ 18 sec (4-5 ft faces). Swell to be peaking Saturday (10/8) from 3 AM to 3 PM with swell 2.9-3.5 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.8-5.8 ft faces). This estimate does NOT include the negative effects of the Tahitian swell shadow. Decent 15 sec energy to continue into Sunday (10/9) with swell 2.9-3.3 ft @ 15 secs (4.5-5.5 ft faces). Residual 14 secs energy fading out from early Monday morning (10/10). Swell Direction 203-209
North California: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (10/7) at 6 AM with period at 19-20 secs but size tiny if even noticeable. Maybe something to ride by sunset with swell 2.4 ft @ 18 sec (4 ft faces). Swell to be peaking Saturday (10/8) from 10 AM to 10 PM with swell 2.7-3.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5-5.5 ft faces). This estimate does NOT include the negative effects of the Tahitian swell shadow. Decent 15-16 sec energy to continue into Sunday (10/9) with swell 2.5-3.1 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.8-4.5 ft faces). Residual 14 secs energy fading out starting at sunrise Monday morning (10/10). Swell Direction 202-207
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours a new low is forecast to develop north of Hawaii late Thursday (10/13) with 40 kts winds aimed east towards California. This low top quickly develop on Friday (10/14) with pressure dropping to 962 mbs with 60 kt winds building in it's west quadrant aimed east of Hawaii and wrapping into it's south quadrant aimed right at North CA. Seas up to 29 ft late. This system to track northeast slamming into Canada late Saturday with 40 ft seas over a tiny area pushing mostly towards the Pacific Northwest with lesser energy potentially aimed at North CA. At this time it's just idle speculation on the part of the models, and no real storm develop is seriously expected. Will monitor. But this is just one more piece of evidence that a Fall pattern is in control.
At the surface beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems forecast. The season is over an this section will be discontinued shortly. Monitoring on an exception basis only now.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table