On Sunday (11/5) Northern CA surf was chest to head high range and reasonably clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to chest high. Central California surf was waist to chest high with some head high sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high. The LA Area southward to Orange County had surf waist to chest high on the sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high with some chest high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was flat.
Hawaii continued basically flat today. California had some surf, mostly leftovers from Saturday which turned out to be bigger than forecast in the north end of the state. A little bit of southern hemi swell was mixed in too, making rare appearances here and there best in Southern CA. The models are showing some promise for the Gulf of Alaska focused mainly on the Pacific Northwest. A series of two gales are modeled to track from a point north of Hawaii up into the Northeastern Gulf over the next week with only the faintest of energy pushing south towards Hawaii. The first gale one is scheduled Sun-Mon with the second Thursday into the through the weekend. Assuming the models are right some decent energy is expected to filter south into Central and North California with the bulk of the size from Oregon northward, though local wind likely to be an issue there. The West Pacific to remain dormant for now. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (11/5) indicated a decent flow pushing flat off Japan building to 120 kts before reaching the dateline then pushing into the faintest dip of a trough just northwest of Hawaii with winds up to 130 kts. It rises into a ridge off California then tracks right into the Pacific Northwest at 140 kts a very weak secondary flow was tracking north of the Bering Sea originating over Siberia and not stealing any significant energy from the main flow tracking across the Pacific. Some support for surface level development northwest of Hawaii. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (11/8) the same basic pattern is to hold through becoming a bit less organized in the West Pacific as a stronger split in the jet is forecast over North China. Beyond 72 hours that split is to become more pronounced centered over the West Pacific, but it to join back together north of Hawaii and start roaring towards the US mainland with a solid trough forecast in the Gulf of Alaska Friday (11/10). Winds there to 170 kts continuing through next weekend. This should provide good support for surface level gale development assuming all develops as forecast.
Updated Mon PM (11/6)
At the surface Sunday (11/5) a reasonable low pressure system was developing 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii tracking fast to the northeast. Pressure was 976 mbs with winds 35 kts in the gales south quadrant aimed mostly northeast towards the Pacific Northwest. The faintest wrap-around winds of 25 kts were aimed south towards Hawaii and not getting good purchase on the oceans surface since the low was tracking east so fast. Late Sunday the gale was pushing into the Northeastern Gulf of Alaska with pressure 972 mbs and 45-50 kt winds developing in the systems south quadrant aimed at British Columbia and 45 degrees north of the 308 degree great circle path to North CA and the 312 degree path to SCal. Seas were modeled to 29ft at 43N 148W. Also some warp-around fetch at 40 kts in the gales north quadrant was aimed at Hawaii down the 10 degree path producing 22 ft seas. On Monday AM pressure dipped to 968 mbs with winds confirmed at 50 kts up to 55 kts over a tiny area aimed like before at 48N 140W aimed 45 degrees north of the 319 degree track into NCal and outside the SCal swell window. Seas were 35 ft at 47N 142W aimed 450 degrees east of the 312 degree path to North CA and the 317 degree path into South CA (effectively out of the swell window). Also some warp-around fetch continued at 40 kts in the gales north quadrant was aimed at Hawaii down the 15 degree path with seas continuing at 22 ft. In the evening winds to be fading from 45 kts but seas building to 47 ft at 48N 136W and nearly out of the north most California swell window (Cape Mendocino region) and pushing into British Columbia Tuesday morning. The big issue for California is that the fetch was aimed well north of any great circle path towards the state (45+ degrees) which will limit size and consistency. Swell from this system was starting to hit buoy 46036 off British Columbia Monday 10 AM (11/6) with seas 22 ft @ 14 secs and pushing up to 28 ft early afternoon maxing at 39 ft @ 15 secs at 5 PM. This swell pushed into the outer Washington buoy at 5 PM and was up to 26 ft @ 17 secs by 9 PM with pure swell 20 ft @ 15 secs.
Expect some form of solid but somewhat raw very north angled swell reaching North CA (San Francisco) starting Tuesday 7 PM PM (11/7) with swell period 17 secs and size pushing up, theoretically peaking at 7.5-8.5 ft @ 15 secs about 2-5 AM Wednesday AM (10-12 ft faces). Decent energy projected through the day Wednesday with swell to 8 ft @ 13 secs late morning (10 ft faces) then heading down late afternoon. Swell Direction: 300-310 degrees. Wind to be a concern though. This same swell to push energy into Central CA peaking Wednesday late morning at 7.5 ft @ 15 secs (9-11 ft) and 3.5 ft @ 15 secs (4-5 ft faces) into only the most exposed breaks in Southern CA late afternoon.
Limited swell to push into Hawaii Wednesday (11/8) from 10-15 degrees (see QuikCAST's for details).
High pressure to move in behind the low originating off the Kuril Islands tracking fast to the east and positioned north of Hawaii at 1032 mbs 72 hours out.
No named tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (11/5) high pressure at 1022 mbs was ridging into North CA providing protection from a building gale north of Hawaii pushing towards the Gulf of Alaska. A generally light to moderate northerly wind flow was in effect. That high to hang on through Tuesday affording protection from Cape Mendocino southward though an onslaught of nasty weather is forecast north of there pushing into the Pacific Northwest. A bit of blustery north winds is expected through the period in the Point Conception region, but otherwise decent conditions north and south of there. But midday Wednesday a new high to be building in driving a brisk northerly flow over Oregon into North and Central CA through the day Thursday making for a white capped mess nearshore. Fortunately that to be shortlived as new low pressure takes up residence in the Gulf making for calm winds Friday into early Saturday, but then the threat of south winds enters the picture later in the day. Likely not long lived, and it's still way to early to tell with even a semblance of certainty, but something to watch for.
On Sunday (11/5) at the surface and through the next 72 hours there were no indications of any swell producing fetch in the South Pacific.
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 a burst of high pressure to increase trades over the Hawaiian Islands starting Wednesday (11/8) then pushing north winds down the California coast later that same day and continuing Thursday. At the same time a new low to be setting up well north of Hawaii pushing fast to the Eastern Gulf of Alaska with pressure 978 mbs and winds building to 45 kts over a small area in the gales south quadrant aimed towards the Pacific Northwest into North CA though most fetch to be targeting Alaska. By nightfall Thursday this system to already be pushing into North Canada and Alaska with only 23 ft seas modeled in the northern extreme of the North Ca swell window through secondary fetch to be developing sweeping from the Aleutians southeast towards the US West Coast at 35-40 kts, continuing Friday and Saturday then building to 32 ft Sunday while dropping towards California at 45N 140W again aimed right down the 308 degree path. Assuming this develops as forecast, a big leap of faith given the models stability lately, large raw north swell could result for the Pacific Northwest pushing down into all of California.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.
Details to follow...
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Stormsurf Iceberg Breakup Analysis/Decide for Yourself: There been some debate concerning the facts around the breakup of Iceberg B15A. Here's a short exercise that helps to drive out the facts around the research: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/news/ice_wam.shtml
Stormsurf Supports Antarctic Iceberg Breakup Study: CNN is reporting the story of a storm in the Gulf of Alaska in Fall of 2005 that contributed to the breakup of Antarctic Iceberg B15A. We all know that South Pacific storms produce swells that provide surf for California in the summer, but has anyone considered the implications of what monster winter storms in the North Pacific do to the South Pacific? That is the subject of a research paper by professor Doug MacAyeal from the University of Chicago. He and his team traveled to Antarctica and instrumented a series of icebergs with seismometers to see if they could understand what causes icebergs to break up, and their findings are insightful. And best of all, Stormsurf contributed data in support of their research (and received authorship credits to boot). This is a great example of how the science of surfing interacts with other pure science disciplines. All the details are available in this months edition of 'Geophysical Research Letters' and the synopsis is available here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/10/02/iceberg.cracks.reut/index.html
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table