On Thursday (11/1) Northern CA surf was chest high to 1 ft overhead and a little warbled. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest to head high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with some bigger sets. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were waist high or so. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
North/Central California was receiving small to moderate swell originating from the dateline and Gulf of Alaska. Southern California was getting a mix of small dateline swell mixed with occasional spurts of southern hemi swell originating just east of New Zealand. Hawaii's North Shore was getting the start of a new pulse of dateline swell. East windswell generated by trades was continuing on the East Shore. And another pulse of southern hemi swell from New Zealand was starting to build along along the South Shore. In the North Pacific, small swell from a fast moving gale that pushed over the dateline and through the Gulf of Alaska was starting to reach Hawaii and then California over the weekend. A bit of a break is forecast in the storm track until early next week when a series of moderate gales are to set up over the dateline pushing towards the Gulf, possibly generating swell for Hawaii and California late next week, but that remains only a guess at this early date. The real story focuses on the southern hemi, where a summer time significant class storm formed earlier this week and pushing a solid dose of long period swell north towards Hawaii and California, expected to arrive in the Islands on Sunday and California one day later. Significant class summer swell to result. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (11/1) for the North Pacific indicated a solid batch of 180 kt winds pushing northeast off Japan ridging towards the dateline, then fading before making it there and trying to fall into a trough. but there was no energy in that trough limiting it's ability to produce any low pressure at the oceans surface. A second ridge was pushing through the Gulf of Alaska only serving to support high pressure development off California at the oceans surface. in all a pretty lackluster pattern. Over the next 72 hours all the energy off Japan is to ridge east to the dateline, then slowly flattening out almost forming a broad and gentle trough there by late Sunday (11/3) with winds 170 kts. Perhaps some support for surface level low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours this trough to hold it's ground with winds kicking up to 190 kts by Tuesday-Thursday (11/8) slowly seeping east towards the Gulf of Alaska providing some almost decent support in the Western Gulf for surface level low pressure development assuming things evolve as forecast.
At the surface today moderate high pressure continued to dominate the North Pacific with one at 1028 mbs was over the dateline and just south of the dateline with a second one at 1032 mbs ridging into British Columbia, making for generally calm conditions other than enhanced trades pushing over the Hawaiian Islands at 20 kts generating short period windswell there and also supporting the formation of the usual pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino California, generating 25 kt north winds and limited local windswell pushing down into Central CA. A gale low that was in the far north Gulf of Alaska generated 25 ft seas, remnants of a tropical system earlier in the week. Swell from that system is pushing into Hawaii and bound for California (see Another Dateline Gale below). Over the next 72 hours the high pressure pattern is to hold over the North Pacific continuing the production of windswell into Hawaii and to a lesser extent in California. A little low is to set up just 700 nmiles north of Hawaii late Friday (11/2) generating 30 kt north winds for 12 hours before dissolving, producing 17 ft seas Saturday possibly good for a dose of 10-11 sec period windswell late Sunday (11/4) fading early Monday. that's all.
Also low pressure to be trying to wrap up over Kamchatka (Siberia) but is to get shunted northeast into the Bering Sea Friday (11/2) and holding there into the weekend. It in and of itself is not to be a swell generator, but is to possibly prime the pump for better thing to come early next week and helping to push the storm track further to the south, possibly eroding the grip high pressure has on the Northwest Pacific.
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) pushing up to 5.6 ft @ 13 secs Friday morning (10/2) making 6-7 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 Thursday (11/1) high pressure at 1032 mbs was in control of waters just off the Pacific Northwest generating the usual summer time pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino and expected to build into Friday reaching 25-30 kts generating local windswell, but winds to be off the coast south of Pt Arena. Winds to start pushing away from the coast Saturday with the gradient dissolving and a calming pattern taking hold into the weekend (light offshore's) then dead calm into week with fog likely returning with the fading of the offshore's. Light winds and no windswell or chop forecast for all California waters on through at least next Thursday (11/8).
Thursdays jetstream charts (11/1) for the South Pacific indicated a strong ridge was pushing south over Antarctica in the Central Pacific on eastward. Even the upper flow in the west was feeding southward into this ridge pretty much shutting down any hopes fro surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours the ridge is to fade while drifting east, leaving a a generally weak flow over the width of the South Pacific but tracking reasonably well north of the Ross Ice Shelf, maybe offering the faintest odds of hope for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours a well defined but generally weak trough is to try and set up under New Zealand Monday (11/5), but a much stronger ridge to build east of there is to likely shut things down for good.
At the oceans surface the last gasp of wind from Storm #5S was fading well south of Tahiti while swell from this system was building in Tahiti with size working it's way north towards Hawaii and California (see Central Pacific Storm #5S below). No other swell producing systems of interest were occurring. Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.
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) near 9 AM with period 20 secs and size coming up reaching 3.6 ft @ 18 secs late (6.5 ft faces with sets to 8.5 ft at top spots). 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 with period dropping to 14 sec by 8 PM. Swell fading from 3.6 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft faces) Wednesday (11/7). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees
Southern CA: Swell arrival expected starting late Monday with period 21 secs but likely not rideable. On Tuesday (11/6) swell to become well rideable through inconsistent pushing 2.6 ft @ 19 secs (5 ft faces) midday and building to 3.6 ft @ 18 secs at sunset (6.5 ft faces with best break to 8 ft). Swell to peak Wednesday at sunrise as period drops to 17 secs. Swell 3.7-3.9 ft @ 17 secs (6.0-6.5 ft with best breaks to 8 ft). Swell holding through the day. Size trickling down on Thursday (11/8) with swell 3.7 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft faces with best breaks to near 7 ft), fading to 14 secs after dark. Solid 14 sec residuals expected Friday (11/9) at 3.3 ft @ 14 secs (4.5 ft faces) early and drifting down. Swell Direction 201-205 degrees
Northern CA: Swell arrival expected starting late Monday (11/5) with period 22 secs but likely not noticeable. By Tuesday (11/6) sunrise rideable but inconsistent swell of 2.3 ft @ 20 secs (4.5 ft faces) is expected building to 3.3 ft @ 18 secs at sunset (6 ft faces with best break to 8 ft). Swell to be peaking at sunrise Wednesday (11/7) with swell 3.7-3.9 ft @ 17 secs (6.5 ft faces with best breaks to 8 ft) and holding through most of the day through period drifting towards 16 secs. Solid swell to continue Thursday (11/8) with swell 3.6-3.8 ft @ 15 secs (5.5 ft faces with sets to near 7 ft) settling down as the day progresses. Still decent swell to continue Friday (11/9) with swell fading from 3.3 ft @ 14 secs early (4.5 ft faces). Swell Direction 196-201 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 that a gale low in the Bering Sea is to receive reinforcements from another low pushing off Siberia, with a fetch of near 40 kt northwest winds building off Kamchatka late Sunday into Monday aimed well towards Hawaii. That to quickly back down though by Tuesday with winds 25 kts pushing to the dateline into Wednesday, then gone. 26 ft seas forecast Monday fading to the 20 ft range into mid-week. Good odds for 13-14 sec period intermediate class swell (a little overhead) for Hawaii with lesser energy pushing towards CA. Theoretically remnants from this system to try and spin up in the Gulf of Alaska late week possibly generating something for the Pacific Northwest and California late next weekend, but that's purely a guess.
Beyond 72 hours a small storm is modeled to form in the South Pacific off New Zealand on Monday (11/5), but is to be sinking southeast with all fetch aimed generally towards Southern Chile and Antarctica, then pushing south over the Ross Ice Shelf 24 hours later. No swell generation potential for our forecast area. Beyond no swell producing weather 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