On Tuesday (10/30) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high with some bigger peaks. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was up to waist high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were up to waist high at the better breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was chest to head high. The South Shore was chest high with some larger sets. The East Shore was a head high to one foot overhead.
North/Central California was getting the start of some small to moderate swell originating from the dateline. Southern California was not getting any swell of interest. Hawaii's North Shore was getting the tail-end of one dateline swell with another right on it's heels. East windswell generated by trades and winds that pushed off California days earlier was fading on the East Shore. And southern hemi swell from New Zealand was fading along the South Shore. In the North Pacific small swell from a dateline gale was fading in Hawaii and just starting to show at exposed breaks in California. A fast moving gale was pushing into the Gulf of Alaska right behind setting up another moderate dose of swell for both Hawaii and California. But in all the pattern has really fallen apart. Latest runs of the models suggest possible improvement almost a week out, but that's pure guesswork this far in advance. The southern hemi has been reasonably active relative to Hawaii with a second moderate swell pushing north, also providing lesser opportunity for California. But of most interest is a reasonably large and strong storm currently winding up due south of Hawaii with fetch aimed well towards California and the Islands. Possible summertime significant class swell to result. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/30) for the North Pacific indicated a reasonably cohesive flow pushing off Japan at 130 kts and slowly meandering it's way northeast to the Gulf of Alaska while weakening. No trough or ridges of interest were indicated providing not support for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours something almost resembling a trough is to try and set up over the dateline Thursday (11/1) but is to quickly get pinched off by two very energetic ridges setting up over the width of the North Pacific with winds building to 190 kts. Maybe limited hope for surface level low pressure north of Hawaii for 24 hours, but that's all. Beyond 72 hours things to improve somewhat with a weak trough setting up off the Kuril Islands with winds to 150 kts starting Monday (11/5) and holding. Some support for surface level low pressure development if things evolve as forecast. a
At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1024 mbs was over the dateline with a second one at 1028 mbs ridging into British Columbia, making for generally calm conditions there. Swell from a previous gale was fading in Hawaii and just starting to hit California (see Dateline Gale below). Another gale low was in the far north Gulf of Alaska generating 25 ft seas, remnants of a tropical system earlier in the week (see Another Dateline Gale below). But most of it's energy was aimed at the Pacific Northwest or points north of there. Over the next 72 hours a fast moving pattern to continue with not particularly good results. Another little low is to set up Wednesday (10/31) in the Western Gulf tracking fast to the northeast with next to no fetch aimed south towards either Hawaii or California, and inland 24 hours later. another little low is to set up just 700 nmiles north of Hawaii late Friday (11/2) generating 30-35 kts north winds for 18 hours before dissolving, producing 21 ft seas in the evening possibly good for a dose of 12 sec period windswell late Sunday (11/4) fading early Monday. But that's all.
Trades to continue flowing over Hawaii at near 20 kts generating short period windswell through Thursday along Eastern Shores.
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) pushing over the dateline Friday (10/26). Reinforcing winds pushed south over the Aleutians and into the main swell generation area reaching 35 kts Friday AM, though mostly holding in the 30 kt range. Seas built to 23 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 faded out in the far Northwestern Gulf with seas fading from 19 ft at 47N 162W. In all this is was not anything resembling an impressive system and was really quite mediocre. But it held together for 4 days and was in relatively close proximity to the Hawaiian Islands. The net result is some form of 13-14 sec period swell reaching Hawaii starting late Sunday (10/28) with swell 5 ft @ 13 secs (6-7 ft faces) holding Monday into Tuesday (4.6 ft @ 12 secs - 5.5 ft faces). before fading out Wednesday. Energy is also forecast pushing into Central California on late Tuesday (10/30) with swell 3.7 ft @ 14 secs (5 ft faces) continuing Wednesday at 4.5 ft @ 12 secs ( 5 ft faces) then fading out.
Another Dateline Gale
A solid low at 980 mbs tried to organize off Japan fueled by tropical moisture with winds modeled at 40 kts aimed somewhat towards Hawaii, looking almost halfway decent. The Japan low raced northeast almost to the dateline Sunday evening with winds 40-45 kts but aimed mostly northeast and then to the Gulf of Alaska Monday morning (10/29) and holding. The problem here was it was moving so fast it did not get decent traction on the oceans surface. By Monday night it's was pushing over Alaska with no fetch aimed at our forecast area. At this point it's pretty doubtful any real swell will result. Hawaii to get a little pulse of swell at 4.5 ft @ 14 secs late Thursday (11/1) making 6 ft faces from 320 degrees. Small swell to push into Central California starting late Thursday (11/1) at 3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.5 ft faces) up to 4 ft @ 12 secs Friday morning (10/2) making 5 ft faces. Swell Direction 295-300 degrees.
No systems of interest were being tracked.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/30) moderate high pressure at 1028 mbs was in control of waters well off the California coast but starting to push closer. Wednesday into Thursday the high is to start influencing the local pattern generating a light northwesterly flow maybe to 10 kts. These winds to become more concentrated in the Cape Mendocino area early Friday reaching 25-30 kts and starting to generate the usual summer time local windswell, but winds to be away from the coast south of Pt Arena. Winds to start pushing away from the coast late Friday with a calming pattern taking hold into the weekend well into next week.
Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/30) for the South Pacific indicated a very solid trough set up well south of Tahiti with 130 kt winds blowing due north providing good support for surface level storm development. But a strong ridge was right behind pushing into Antarctica and eliminating any hope. Over the next 72 hours the trough to be long gone but the ridge is to fade just as quick too, with a generally weak flow remaining over the width of the South Pacific but tracking reasonably well north of the Ross Ice Shelf, maybe offering a smidgen of hope long term. Beyond 72 hours a weak trough is to try and set up under New Zealand, but a much stronger ridge to build east of there by starting Monday (11/5) likely shutting thing down for good.
At the oceans surface all eyes were on a strong storm southeast of New Zealand (see Central Pacific Storm below). No other swell producing systems of interest were occurring. Over the next 72 hours the Central Pacific Storm to slowly fade away to nothing, with no other systems forecast.
Southwest Pacific Gale
A new gale was building under New Zealand Wednesday (10/24). By evening pressure was 964 mbs tracking 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 held at 50S 180W with 40-45 kt winds still aimed 30 degrees east of the 195 degree great circle path to Hawaii. A small area of 37 ft seas were modeled at 50S 180W. Friday AM (10/26) pressure was 956 mbs but winds were fading from 35 kts at 49S 170W with seas fading from 32 ft at 47S 170W. Some form of 30-35 kt winds persisted in this area not moving too much to the east, but not imparting much longer period energy to the ocean. 25 ft seas continued near 55S 170W spurting up to 28 ft Sunday AM (10/28), then fading out. This developed pretty close to the modeled projections maybe just a shade weaker. In all some form of solid utility class summertime swell seems likely pushing into the Hawaiian Islands with period near 18 secs starting late Wednesday (10/31) reaching 3 ft @ 17 secs (5 ft faces) late Thursday (11/1) and 3 ft @ 16 secs Friday (4.5-5.0 ft faces) from 200 degrees. Residuals into Saturday. Utility class swell for California possible starting roughly Saturday (11/3) peaking Sunday (11/4) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces). Swell Direction: 215 degrees.
Central Pacific Storm #5S
On Monday AM (10/29) a new low pressure system was building fast with pressure 960 mbs and in close proximity to a 1036 mbs high over New Zealand, generating a moderate fetch of confirmed winds at 60 kts winds at 50S 162W aimed 25 degrees east of the 182 degree path to Hawaii and right up the 203 degree path to California unshadowed by Tahiti. Seas were on the increase with winds acting on an already agitated ocean surface. By evening pressure dropped to 948 mbs with 60-65 kt winds confirmed over a solid area at 43S 155W aimed 25 degrees east of the 178 degree path to Hawaii and right up the 202 degree path to California. Actually there was 720 nmiles of straight line fetch grater than 40 kts with most 50-60 kts. Seas built to 37 ft at 49S 158W. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the edge of this system and reported seas of 35 ft, right on-track with the ave models.
This system was fading fast Tuesday AM (10/30) with residual 35-40 kt south winds up to 42S 147W. Seas were modeled at 39 ft at 45S 150W. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the leading edge of this system and reported seas of 38 ft, right on-track with the models. Still 40 kts winds to hold into the evening aimed due north at 50S 145W aimed right up the 190 degree path to California, then dissipating late. Seas from previous fetch fading from 36 ft at 42S 145W but mostly just the decaying energy from previous days fetch.
This was a very short lived system, but was concentrated with high winds acting essentially on a consistent part of the oceans surface. Sea heights were not over the top, but were solid given the short life of this storm and were confirmed twice by the Jason-1 satellite. Current data suggests significant class swell is likely for both California and Hawaii and much more for Tahiti.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting late Sunday (11/4) with period 20 secs and size coming up. Swell to start peaking Monday morning at 4.3 ft @ 17 secs (7 ft faces with top spots to 9 ft). Swell holding solid through the day. Swell holding at 4.3 ft @ 14-15 secs Tuesday early (6 ft faces with best spots to 8 ft) simmering down through the day. Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees
Southern CA: Swell arrival expected starting Tuesday (11/6) sunrise with swell 2.6 ft @ 19 secs (5 ft faces) building to 3.6 ft @ 18 secs at sunset (6.5 ft faces with best break to 8 ft). Swell Direction 200 degrees
Northern CA: Swell arrival expected starting Tuesday (11/6) sunrise with swell 2.3 ft @ 20 secs (4.5 ft faces) building to 3.3 ft @ 18 secs at sunset (6 ft faces with best break to 8 ft). Swell Direction 195-200 degrees
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 gale is to try and develop over the Kamchatka Peninsula over the weekend (11/3) but is to get quickly shunted north into the Bering Sea, dying there. A second dose of energy to follow right behind and further to the south, possibly wrapping up into a decent large area gale Mon-Wed (11/7) with some form of consistent northwesterly winds at 30-35 kts and seas building steadily towards 28 ft over the Northwest Pacific aimed at Hawaii and the Western US. Possible moderate period utility class swell to result if this develops as forecast, which is a bit of a reach this far out.
Beyond 72 hours the South Pacific to remain in a quiet pattern. No swell producing systems of interest are modeled.
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