On Tuesday (11/14) Northern CA surf was again 1.5-2.0 times overhead and windblown. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were flat with top spots thigh high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County had surf thigh high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high. The South Shore was effectively flat. The East Shore was waist high.
A small pulse of energy was hitting Hawaii's Northern Shores, but in all it as very weak for the time of year. California had size up north, but little of this was making the wrap around into Pt Conception with near flatness further south. More of the same is forecast in the coming days with a series of weak developing low pressure systems forming north of Hawaii pushing a tease of energy south to the Islands then lifting fast northeast into the Gulf of Alaska while building sending most energy in to the Pacific Northwest with a little shorter period energy pushing into North CA with even less into Central CA, and a faint shadow of that swell pushing into exposed breaks in South CA. The big issue remains a poor jetstream flow aloft, splitting off Japan and pushing north to the Bering Sea then diving south and reconsolidating in the eastern Gulf of Alaska. The split flow steals most energy from the southern branch that is pushing across the North Pacific, depriving developing storms of much required energy, leaving them weak and anemic. Instead, high pressure is sitting in between the split flows centered right over the dateline and right in the middle of the main storm corridors for Hawaii and California. No change forecast for the coming week, and if anything, the effect on surf to get worse as the split pattern slowly seeps east. Make the most of whatever surf is available. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream charts (11/14) remained much the same as previous days with a split flow of energy starting just off Japan, with the northern branch pushing direct north into and beyond the Bering Sea then recurving south and merging with the main flow which was flowing generally flat across the Pacific with only a slight but weak dip over the dateline. The two streams merged in the Central Gulf of Alaska forming a weak trough there then pushing into the Pacific Northwest, ridging as it moved inland at up to 150 kts. The only area capable for supporting decent low pressure at the surface was in the Gulf, and even that was very limited in areal coverage to the northmost quadrant. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (11/17) much the same pattern is forecast but with the split in the jet tracking just a little further east centered just east of the dateline ridging north up into the Bering Sea and south to 30N. Again the Gulf to remain the best hope for low pressure development at the surface, and even that to be limited. Beyond 72 hours no significant change is forecast, with the split pattern edging a little more to the east and a new split flow developing over Siberia in to the Pacific, not boding well for the future.
At the surface today high pressure at 1022 mbs was off Point Conception ridging into Northern California and driving a brisk northerly flow over waters there. Low pressure at 980 mbs was in the northeastern Gulf of Alaska with a new but very weak 994 mb low developing north of Hawaii and tracking fast to the northeast. It generated at small area of 35-40 kt winds aimed just a bit west of the Hawaiian Islands Mon PM into Tuesday (11/14) producing 20-22 ft seas, with some sideband energy from those seas likely tracking towards the Islands arriving late Thursday (11/16) Friday [see QuikCAST's for details]. Otherwise the low in the Gulf was generating 40 kt northwest winds pushing southeast towards the Pacific Northwest and North CA with seas 20 ft. Generic windswell/protoswell likely on track for these locations, but nothing noteworthy. Over the next 72 hours the low pressure in the Gulf to build Wednesday (11/15) with pressure dropping to 968 mbs and northwest winds 40 kts building in areal coverage pushing well towards the Pacific Northwest and California holding through the day. Seas building to 27 ft near 50N 148W pushing well down the 312 degree path to North CA into Thursday AM, then fading. Assuming this comes to pass, decent 13-14 sec swell energy is expected to reach the North CA coast late Friday peaking Saturday before sunrise with swell 6 ft @ 13-14 secs (8 ft faces) from 310-315 degrees. Smaller energy to filter in to Central CA Sat AM at 4.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (6 ft faces) with next to nothing (2 ft @ 13 secs - 2.0-2.5 ft faces) wrapping into exposed breaks in Southern CA late in the day.
Tropical Storm Sergio formed today 360 nmiles south of Manzanillo Mexico with sustained winds 50 kts drifting due north. Very late in the season indeed and totally due to the pool-up of unusually warm waters there thanks to El Nino. this system is to slowly intensify reaching hurricane strength Wednesday and holding while drifting north through the weekend. But at no time is it expected to push into the Southern California swell window. But Mainland Mexico and Baja likely to see some decent swell from this one.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/14) weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was holding off the South california coast and providing a minimal buffer from the rather robust gale pattern that is continuing pushing into the Pacific Northwest. Current data suggests that mild winds are to become the norm starting Wednesday and holding through the weekend. Minor incursions of south winds are forecast pushing south into North CA Thursday-Friday then again Mon-Tues from Monterey bay northward associated with weak fronts pushing down from the Gulf, but winds to remain below the 15 kt threshold. Otherwise a calm to light northwest flow modeled.
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 the poor jetstream flow aloft to continue taking it's toll on the West Pacific, with high pressure and no swell producing fetch indicated. To the east low pressure to remains locked over the Gulf but somewhat unproductive till Monday (11/20) as high pressure from the dateline starts to encroach upon it's domain, forming a mild gradient producing more 35 kt northwest winds aimed towards the Pacific Northwest and California generating 20 ft seas into Tuesday. Some decent amount of this fetch to also take aim on Hawaii with 15 ft seas setting up just north of the Islands possibly making for large ugly windswell there Tuesday (11/21). But still, no real swell producing storms modeled capable of generating a long period swell. in fact, as the split jetstream pattern pushes further east, swell production to start dropping off, and nothing of interest likely until it totally pushes inland over North America or until a much stronger pattern pushes over the Pacific from Russia. And then we can only assume that it will be a better pattern, and not something even worse.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.
Details to follow...
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Towsurfers & Paddle-in Surfers - Participate in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: The draft EIR for the new Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary management plan has been released. Public comment will be accepted until January 7, 2007. The link provided has all of the information that is pertinent to anyone wishing to participate in the crafting of the new regulations. It cannot emphasize enough the importance of making your comments part of the public record as such comments will be used to re evaluate the proposed regulations before inclusion into the final EIR. This will be the public's last and best chance to shape regulations in our Monterey Bay. If you are passionate about what you do, direct that passion into active participation in this process. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/involved.html
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