On Tuesday (11/1) Northern CA surf was chest high and clean. South facing breaks were waist high. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high at the best breaks though most spots were flat. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high only at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was waist high.
Moderate swell hit Hawaii on Monday and is fading there while building at exposed breaks in North California. This from a low that was off Kamchatka-Dateline region (see Dateline Gale below). Also a gale built on Monday off Vancouver Island sending sizeable sideband energy south towards North CA (see Vancouver Island Gale). The pattern to continue favoring the East Pacific as 2 generally weak gales are forecast to push through the Gulf of Alaska through the workweek with all fetch aimed southeast. This puts Hawaii out of the mix with Central and North CA in best position. some hope beyond that but nothing of real interest. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (11/1) a strong ridge in the jetstream was centered just east of the dateline with the jet pushing up and over the Aleutians with winds strong at 160-170 kts, but thankfully not making any headway into the Bering Sea. The ridge then dove south into the Gulf of Alaska and lost energy, fading to almost nothing before sweeping into North CA. By Thursday(11/3) the ridge is to moderate and more energy is to start flowing into the Gulf of Alaska with winds 130 kts forming just a bit of a trough there, enough to support some form of low pressure at the surface. That pattern to hold through the weekend then fade as a big ridge is forecast to develop in the Gulf and split jet pattern takes over the West Pacific, making an already unfavorable pattern even worse.
Today at the surface high pressure at 1036 mbs was in control of the Central North Pacific positioned north of Hawaii and driving any low pressure energy northeast towards the northern part of the Gulf of Alaska. Weak low pressure was in the north most Gulf, but overall there was no evidence of any swell producing fetch. By Wednesday (11/2) the weak low in the north Gulf is to amplify some and form a gradient with high pressure to it's south, generating a broad fetch of northwest winds at 35 kts aimed southeast right at the Pacific Northwest and North CA and tracking southeast through Thursday (11/3) pushing inland late in the day. Good windswell potential from this one. Another similar windswell event forecast to follow late Thursday through Friday (11/4). The net effect is likely to be sizeable 11-12 sec windswell pushing into the Pacific Northwest and North/Central California Thursday through Saturday.
The dominant high north of Hawaii to continue brisk east winds there through the weekend, likely generating short period easterly windswell.
Also on Wednesday (10/26) a 984 mb gale low pushed off Kamchatka tracking east with 40-45 kts winds developing in it's south quadrant centered at 48N 162E aimed due east. The low tracked towards the Bering Sea in the evening with winds south of the Aleutians confirmed down to 35 kts centered at 48N 172E. Seas had built to 29 ft centered at 48N 165E. By Thursday AM (10/27) it moved into the Bering Sea near the dateline with pressure 988 mbs and winds south of the Aleutians fading to 30 kts aimed due east with 27 ft seas positioned at 48N 175E continuing into the evening. Then a gradual decay set in Friday and Saturday as the low tracked through the Bering Sea with limited 30 kt fetch continuing south of the Aleutians pushing towards the Gulf of Alaska and seas generally in the 23 ft range.
In all the first part of this system has produced winds and seas aimed reasonably swell down the 319-328 degree great circle paths to Hawaii and up the 308 degree path to California but a long ways away. Some decent swell pushed southeast towards Hawaii with only smaller longer period energy pushing towards California.
Vancouver Island Gale
Late Sunday evening (10/30) a 984 mb gale started to develop in the Gulf of Alaska with winds confirmed up to 40-45 kts in centered near 50N 144W aimed well at the Pacific Northwest. Seas were 21 ft and building. By Monday AM (10/31) the low was maxing with winds near 50 kts and pressure 986 mbs at 50N 141W aimed like before. Seas were up to 26 ft centered at 48N 150W. By nightfall the low was moving inland over Central Canada with residual 30-35 kts winds centered near 49N 138W and fading fast. Seas were maxing at 29 ft centered at 50N 135W.
This system was generally unimpressive for a winter storm with most of the energy aimed due east towards southern Canada and the northern part of the Pacific Northwest. Decent swell energy started hitting buoy 46006 late Monday night (10/31) continuing into Tuesday morning with seas 13-15 ft @ 13-14 secs, arriving at buoy 46059 Tuesday morning. This is right on track with expectations with nearshore swell expected in the 6 ft range at 13 secs on Wednesday (7-8 ft faces).
See QuikCAST for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/1) the models suggest a weak front to pass through North CA early Wednesday then rapidly dissipate with a wall of northwest winds setting up behind it Thursday, filling the Gulf of Alaska. High pressure to just barely hold these winds off, and getting a better foothold over the coming days as another northwest wind pulse tries to make headway into our local waters without success. The net result is relatively light nearshore winds through the period, though that tranquil pattern is likely to get disturbed by mid-next week as strong high pressure moves into the picture.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Tuesday (11/1) a moderate gale low was pushing under New Zealand with 35 kt fetch aimed east to southeast. This to continue through Thursday (11/3) with 25-28 ft seas forecast through the period. Some degree of background swell is likely to start pushing north towards Hawaii with period in the 13-15 sec range. Will monitor.
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 things are not looking so rosy. Strong high pressure at 1036 mbs is to develop over the intersection of the Aleutians and the dateline on Friday/Saturday (11/5) tracking east moving into the western Gulf of Alaska on Sunday and blooming. It's to continue east through early next week reaching a point just off California by Wednesday (11/9). 25-30 kt winds are to be circulating all around it's periphery as it steamrolls any hint of low pressure out of the way on it's trek east. Strong low pressure is forecast over interior Alaska, but it's to be landlocked with no swell generation potential. And even worse, another high is forecast over Siberia pushing southeast off Kamchatka, possibly setting up even more of a locked-down condition.
At the surface beyond 72 hours the models depict no signs of any swell producing fetch. High pressure to be in control.
Details to follow...
Stormsurf Weather Model Update: Over the weekend (10/30) we moved new new code into production that should dramatically improve the efficiency and reliability of our weather models. We've had problems with them not keeping in-sync with the wave models. Hopefully that problem is now resolved though we're still dependent on NOAA data servers just like everyone else. What this fix does do is provide the infrastructure now to rapidly expand our offering of weather models, enabling more detailed global coverage. We will be working on that as time permits.
Rob Gilley Photgraphy: Please take amoment to check out the selection of limited print images availabe at Rob Gilleys webite. All images in the 2005 line were taken by Rob Gilley, an 19 year Surfer Magazine staff photographer, and are personally signed and numbered by him: http://www.pacificsurfgallery.com
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table