On Tuesday (11/6) Northern CA surf was chest high and warbled though clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were head high to 2 ft overhead and inconsistent from the south. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest to head high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was chest high at the better breaks but windy. The LA Area southward to Orange County was head high with best breaks 2 ft overhead on the sets. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high. The South Shore was head high to 1 ft overhead and reasonably clean. The East Shore was waist high.
North/Central California was getting the first edge of solid southern hemi swell generated by Storm #5S with size heading up. Southern California was getting the leading edge of Swell #5S with size coming up. Hawaii's North Shore was on the downslide with only minimal windswell energy lapping in. Small east windswell generated by trades continued on the East Shore. Southern hemi swell was fading from along the South Shore, with nothing behind. Focus turns to the Western US Coast as swell from a solid southern hemi storm starts to impact the coast. Size at the buoys was actually looking a little better than expected for this timeframe. This to be the only thing happening during the workweek, so make the most of it. Another weak gale is forecast under New Zealand on Thursday possibly providing energy aimed towards primarily Hawaii, but odds low. Up north a gale is trying to organize over the dateline and is pushing minor energy towards Hawaii, but is generally unremarkable. The models keep hinting at the remnants of this system pushing into the Gulf of Alaska this weekend and being joined by reinforcing low pressure, possibly generating some fetch of interest, but that seems more like a phantom than anything that will really materialize. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream charts (11/6) for the North Pacific indicated a solid batch of 190 kt winds pushing almost flat off the Southern Kuril's dipping slightly towards the dateline, almost trying to form something that looks like a trough, but was too gentle to be categorized as such. Winds relaxed after passing over the dateline and were ridging northeast into the Gulf of Alaska moving inland over Northern Canada. Only the area west of the dateline was capable of support low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours the weak trough in the west is to get stretched to the east and flatten out with winds down to 170 kts but pushing almost over the Pacific Northwest. But the near flat flow is to not offer any marked increase in odds of low pressure development into Friday (11/9). Beyond 72 hours this pocket of wind energy is to consolidate off the Pacific Northwest coast with winds back up to 180 kts, but all ridging northeast and offering no real help for low pressure development, and instead suggesting high pressure development near the coast on into Monday (11/12). A weaker unfocused flat flow is to persist tracking over the 35N latitude into mid-next week and not offering much hope for surface level low pressure development.
At the surface today weak high pressure was in control of the East Pacific at 1020 mbs protecting the US and Canadian West Coasts and offering only minimal trades pushing up to but not really over the Hawaiian Islands. Weak low pressure at 980 mbs was in the southern Central Bering Sea generating a weak fetch of 25 kt west winds south of the Aleutians pushing over the dateline. These winds had been up to 30-35 kts for a short spell Monday (11/5) generating seas in the 21 ft range at 47N 170E, good for maybe some 13 sec period swell for the Islands a few days out (see QuikCAST's for details), but nothing more. Over the next 72 hours this low to limp east into the Western Gulf of Alaska winds winds periodically cycling up to 30-35 kts, but not lasting long or getting much traction on the oceans surface, resulting in seas in patches to maybe 21 ft, likely continuing the expected minimal swell for the Islands with some weak energy pushing towards the US West Coast. The biggest patch to be positioned at 48N 170W on Friday morning (11/9).
Typhoon Peipah has pushed over the Northern Philippines and was on a track aimed southwest towards South Vietnam with sustained winds 70 kts. A low weakening is expected with Peipah moving over South Vietnam Sunday (11/11) at tropical depression status.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/6) weak high pressure at 1022 mbs was centered 700 nmiles west of Pt Conception having only minimal impact on near shore California waters, generating a light 10 kt northwesterly flow. Nothing effectively different is forecast Wednesday with only a weak low developing off Central Ca Thursday and maybe setting up south winds at 5 kts from Pt Conception to San Francisco then. Friday that is to be gone as a series of building local low pressure systems push into the Pacific Northwest with some vigor, possibly providing a little more south winds for the San Francisco area, but nothing other than the usual light northwest winds south of there. But late Saturday (11/10) high pressure to take control with brisk northerly winds arriving over all the Central Coast pushing into South California Sunday likely washing everywhere out. Things to be cleaning up and calming down for early next week though.
Tuesdays jetstream charts (11/6) for the South Pacific indicated a strong ridge pushing south over Antarctica pretty much shutting down any chances for low pressure development. A weak trough was under New Zealand, but too weak to offer any help. Over the next 72 hours that ridge is to push fast to the east and fade while the trough under New Zealand holds, if not building a a little with winds pushing northeast in the 110-130 kts range Wed-Fri (11/9) and offering a little hope for surface level low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours the New Zealand trough to fade while tracking southeast, effectively not providing any support for surface development.
At the oceans surface a deep 932 mbs low was in the deep South Pacific, but totally locked over the Ross Ice Shelf and getting no traction over exposed ice-free waters. Over the next 72 hours a weak gale is to try and push east under New Zealand late Wednesday in to Thursday (11/8) generating 35-40 kts winds and 29 ft seas near 50S 175E for 24 hours. Maybe some small intermediate swell to result for Hawaii if this occurs, which seems unlikely.
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 swell started hitting Hawaii on Sunday AM (11/4) just as expected with pure swell 2.6 ft @ 18 secs and most energy in the 20 sec range. This is right on track with expectations.
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: Swell fading from 3.6 ft @ 13 secs (4.5 ft faces) Wednesday (11/7). Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees
Southern CA: 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 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 a new mini-low pressure system is to race from off the Kuril's east joining the slower moving broader low in the Eastern Bering Sea and adjunct weak west winds forecast repositioned in the Central Gulf. Winds in this new low to reach 45-50 kts as it passes over the dateline Friday night (11/9) at 45N 178W aimed due east and continuing on into the Gulf into Sunday, rising a little more to the north and joining the main low now repositioned in the Northern Gulf. Seas building to near 30 ft on Saturday building to 36 ft Sunday at 50N 150W aimed slightly north of the 310 degree path to Northern CA and 1400 nmiles out and aimed better at the Pacific Northwest. This system to continue east early next week while slowly fading and moving into Northern Canada early Tuesday (11/13). If all this occurs as forecast some form of intermediate class swell could high the San Francisco area late Sunday pushing south with larger advanced class swell arriving mid-next week. But odds low of any particular outcome at this early day, especially looking at the models track record as of late. At least it's something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no winds greater than 35 kts are forecast and incapable of generating swell of interest.
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