On Thursday (10/25) Northern CA surf was head high and junky, foggy and windy. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high, maybe a little bit more. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest to head high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh to waist high at the best spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high at the better breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was in the chest to head high range. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was chest to near head high.
North/Central California was getting a mix of weak swell from the Gulf but mostly local windswell coming from off Cape Mendocino. Southern California was getting the last little bits of southern hemi swell mixed with windswell wrapping in from the north. Hawaii was getting a decent bit of northerly windswell wrapping into select breaks on the North Shore and also pushing into East Shore breaks. Nothing of interest was occurring along the South Shore. The most interesting thing going on right now was a gale passing over the dateline in the North Pacific offering up hope for moderate swell for Hawaii late in the coming weekend then pushing into exposed breaks in the north of California later next week. Windswell was developing for Central California too into Friday. And small southern hemi swell was in the water pushing north from New Zealand bound mainly for Hawaii's South Shore late in the weekend. More activity is trying to brew under New Zealand potentially offering both the Islands and the mainland hope long term with yet 2 more systems charted, but hardly believable this late in the season. And if one is to really reach out, the modeled are starting to hint at something strong for the dateline a week out, but that's nothing better than a joke at this early date. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/25) for the North Pacific indicated something that almost resembled a trough trying to push east over the dateline and a bit south of the Aleutians, with winds barely 140 kts at the bottom of the trough but mostly aimed northeast towards Alaska. Some form of a weak gale was being supported by this trough. A weak unorganized flow was tracking from there into the Pacific Northwest and and equally unorganized flow was pushing off Siberia feeding into the dateline trough. Pretty quiet. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to disintegrate while tracking east then trying to build slightly into Saturday (10/27) with up to 160 kt winds trying to feed into it, but just not looking very organized. It's to dissipate 24 hours later while passing over the northern Gulf of Alaska. Beyond 72 hours a nice polite flow to continuing tracking more or less flat south of the Aleutians across the width of the North Pacific, not split or particularly poorly organized, but not really doing anything either. Then on Wednesday (10/31) a bit of a trough is to start building west of the dateline with winds building behind that possibly setting up a solid trough on the dateline on Thursday with broad support of 130-140 kts winds to it's east. Good support for surface level low pressure if this occurs.
At the surface today strong e high pressure at 1040 mbs was locked in the eastern Gulf of Alaska ridging into Washington and setting up a pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino CA generating a small area of confirmed north winds at 40 kts generating building windswell along the Central CA coast. Of more interest though was low pressure tracking through the Southern Bering Sea at 980 mbs generating fetch south of the Aleutians (see Dateline Gale below). Over the next 72 hours the Cape Mendocino fetch is to hold into Friday providing more windswell for Central CA with winds 40 kts and seas building to 23 ft while making an unusual move and pushing southeast off California tracking right towards Hawaii. Winds to slowly fade through Saturday AM (10/27) down to 30 kts with seas fading from 21 ft at 35N 135W or 1400 nmiles northeast of Oahu before effectively dissipating in the evening. The swell vector is to be just a bit south of Hawaii but not too far off the mark. Possible northeasterly swell to arrive on Oahu's Northeast Shore late Monday possibly building to 7 ft @ 12 secs ( 8 ft faces) Tuesday AM (10/30) from 55 degrees.
On Tuesday (10/23) a 988 mb low pressure system was trying to develop over the northern Kuril's but hadn't pushed out into exposed waters of the Northwest Pacific. That low tracked east through the Bering Sea generating a broad fetch of 30-35 kts winds in the Northwestern Pacific free and clear of obstruction from the Aleutians and aimed well at Hawaii down the 314 degree great circle path by Wednesday AM (10/24). Seas built to 21 ft starting near 45N 165E. The low tracked east though the Bering Sea while the fetch tracked east also free-and-clear in the North Pacific Thursday (10/25) expected to pushing over the dateline Friday (10/26). Reinforcing winds are to be pushing south over the Aleutians and into the main swell generation area reaching 35-40 kts Friday AM. Seas forecast building to 25 ft at 47N 175W at that time swinging more towards the US West Coast and less towards the Islands. By Saturday the fetch and low are to fade out in the far Northwestern Gulf with seas fading from 20 ft at 47N 162W. In all this is not to be anything resembling an impressive system and really quite mediocre. But if all goes as planned it's to hold together for 4 days and be in relatively close proximity to the Hawaiian Islands. The net result is some form of 13-14 sec period swell to possibly result for Hawaii starting late Sunday (10/28) with swell 5 ft @ 13 secs (6-7 ft faces) holding Monday into Tuesday before fading out Wednesday. Energy is also forecast pushing into Central California on Tuesday (10/30) with swell 4.4 ft @ 14 secs (6 ft faces) continuing Wednesday then fading.
No systems of interest were being tracked.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/25) strong high pressure at 1040 mbs was in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska generating a tight pressure gradient with weaker low pressure inland over Central CA, producing north winds confirmed at 40 kts over Cape Mendocino and generating moderate-plus sized windswell pushing into Central CA . This scenario to hold into Friday with the total fetch area growing some, then pushing offshore and tracking southeast with with low and high holding in lock-step with each other and all swell energy aimed towards Hawaii. Local nearshore winds fading and turning south at 5-10 kts, with conditions improving as the fetch pulls away from the coast. By Saturday the fetch is to effectively be out of range and a light offshore flow forecast continuing into Sunday. Monday-Wednesday (10/31) a light flow to continue with no real defining pressure pattern suggested nearshore, though high pressure to be building well off the coast. It is expected to start influencing the local scene by Thursday when light to moderate northerly winds start building into the coast.
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/25) for the South Pacific indicated that the jet had moved well to the north providing a broad area of undisturbed area north of the Ross Ice Shelf. A bit of energy was pushing under New Zealand at 130 kts, offering some potential for support of gale development at the oceans surface. no energy of interest was present anywhere east of there though. Over the next 72 hours this area near new Zealand is to push a bit to the north continuing to offer some support for surface level gale development, but nothing well defined until Saturday (10/27) when the southern branch of the jet starts pushing hard north blowing up to 130 kts. Winds to increase to 150 kts Sunday. Beyond 72 hours winds to continue pushing hard north in the 130 kts range with a persistent trough in-place east of New Zealand pushing to the Central Pacific Tuesday (10/30), then fading out Wednesday. Assuming the models are correct there's very good support for gale development east of New Zealand through the period.
At the oceans surface today a new gale was building under New Zealand. Wednesday evening (10/24) pressure was 964 mbs track east from under New Zealand moving into the Southwest Pacific. Winds were confirmed at 45-50 kts at 53S 168E moving into the Hawaiian swell window. 29 ft seas were modeled at 54S 152E aimed mostly east. On Thursday AM (10/25) the low was clear in the Hawaiian swell window with 45 kts winds confirmed aimed northeast at 52S 177E aimed 30 degrees east of the 200 degree great circle path to Hawaii. 32 ft seas were modeled at 52S 172E. In the evening the gale to hold at 50S 180W with 40-45 kt winds still aimed 30 degrees east of the 195 degree great circle path to Hawaii. A small to moderate area of 37 ft seas are forecast at 50S 180W. Friday AM (10/26) pressure to be 956 mbs but winds are to be fading from 35 kts at 49S 170W with seas fading from 35 ft at 47S 170W. Some form of 35 kts wind to persist in this area not moving too much to the east, but not imparting much longer period energy to the ocean. 25-28 ft seas forecast near 50S 170W spurting up to 30 ft Sunday AM (10/28), then fading out. If this develops as forecast this would be labeled Storm #6S with possible significant class summertime swell pushing into the Hawaiian Islands with period near 20 secs starting late Wednesday (10/31) peaking late Thursday. Utility class swell for California possible starting roughly Saturday (11/3). Will monitor.
New Zealand Micro-Gale
On Sunday (10/21) morning a small 972 mb gale developed under New Zealand with winds at 45-50 kts and a infinitesimal area of 30 ft seas indicated at 50S 170E. There was maybe 240 nmiles of straight-line fetch aimed at Hawaii. This system pushed northeast in the evening with winds confirmed by the QuikSCAT satellite down to 40-45 kts with seas up to 37 ft at 49S 175E. Residual 40 kts winds were fading at 42S 168W Monday morning with seas down to 30 ft at 46S 177W, then gone by nightfall. A decent bout of late season utility class swell is expected mainly for Hawaii starting Sunday with period 18 secs peaking Monday (10/29) with swell 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4 ft faces) from 200 degrees. Swell details will be posted in the QuikCAST's.
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 tropical moisture is still forecast to be pumped northeast off Japan towards the dateline by strong high pressure well east of Asia, building as it goes. Per the 12z run of the GFS model Thursday (10/25): By Sunday (10/28) pressure is to drop to 980 mbs with 45-50 kt winds starting to wrap entirely around it's core. By evening a solid storm is forecast pushing over the dateline and just barely south of the Aleutians with 60 kts winds aimed right at Hawaii and swinging more to the east. Monday (10/29) is the day as this system continues tracking east in the far Northwestern Gulf of Alaska with pressure 964 mbs and 60-65 kts winds (hurricane force) taking aim right down the 302 degree great circle paths to North CA, fading from 45 kts on Tuesday, 1800 nmiles out from California and moving to within 1500 nmiles of Hawaii. Large seas (40-45 ft) and long period swell a possibility for the entire US West Coast with sideband energy pushing into Hawaii late week. But this is only the first run of the models this system has showed up on in this incarnation (actually, earlier this week a version of this system appeared, then disappeared just a quickly), so it's anyones guess whether it will materialize or not. But it is something to watch for.
Yet another weaker system is forecast following behind pushing off the Kuril Islands on a slightly more southern route starting Tuesday (10/30) expected to make it at least over the dateline. Possible swell for Hawaii at a minimum.
Beyond 72 hours yet another impressive late season gale is forecast building east of New Zealand from the remnants of what might be Storm #6S due south of Hawaii starting late Sunday peaking Monday (10/29) with pressure 956 mbs but in close proximity to strong high pressure at 1032 mbs north of New Zealand generating 60 kts winds over a moderate pushing just east of due north aimed right up the 200 degree path to California (unshadowed from Tahiti) and just off the 175-185 degree track to Hawaii. Seas forecast up to 47 ft seas mid-Tuesday near 50S 145W. More significant class swell possible for both Hawaii and California, but this is a long ways off and far from certain.
Nothing else to follow.
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