On Saturday (11/19) Northern CA surf was 1-3 ft overhead at the better breaks and quite clean. A truly beautiful day. South facing breaks were chest to head high. Central California surf was chest to head high at the best breaks. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high and up to chest high at the best breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high with a few chest high sets. Southward to San Diego waves waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was head high. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was thigh high.
Things have really settled down along the North Shore of Oahu with the swell focusing more on California now. But it was just a ghost compared to what hit the Islands. A downward trend to settle in for all locations in the coming days with the NOrth Pacific storm free for the past few days now form a swell generation perspective. The charts depict hope in the not-to-distant future, but it's anyone's guess if that storm will actually form. Best bet remains is to watch the models and keep your figures crossed. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Saturdays (11/19) jetstream analysis indicated continued strong winds roaring straight east off Japan at 170 kts centered on the 35N latitude line reaching just across the dateline then veering northeast to the south Alaskan coast and turning east into Canada. This pattern suggested low pressure aloft off the Kuril Islands and high pressure off California. This pattern is to hold over the next 72 hours with winds building to 190 kt off Japan by Sunday (11/20) then backing off a little but making more eastward progress pushing north of Hawaii by Tuesday (11/22). Winds dropping off some more to the 140 kts range thereafter with the jet tracking over Hawaii late in the workweek. The patter appears to start breaking up some by Saturday (11/27), but that really a reach. In general the jet appears to be supportive of storm development but the long flat stretch of energy from Japan to Hawaii, without any real dips (troughs) suggests everything that does form will be tracking east and not getting good traction at the surface. Still, it could be alot worse. At least there's strong energy aloft.
Today at the surface moderate high pressure at 1020 mbs was centered off North California pushing into the Pacific Northwest while a series of weak low pressure systems tracked off Japan pushing east, with one at 1000 mbs north of Hawaii with no swell producing fetch and another trying to get started off North Japan. This is the one to watch if one is to believe the models. Theoretically on Monday (11/21) it is to start winding up just northwest of Hawaii with pressure dropping to 968 mbs with 50-55 kt west winds building in it's south quadrant aimed well at California up the 283 degree great circle path. This system to be lifting northeast fast on Tuesday (11/22) with 45-50 kt west winds continuing aimed at CA up the 285-290 degree paths pushing into Alaska early Wednesday. 35 ft seas are to be generated over a small area tracking towards the California coast with only limited fetch to be aimed at Hawaii over the storm life with most energy pushing well east of the Islands. Will believe it when it happens.
See QuikCAST for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (11/19) high pressure remained firmly in control with no end in-sight. It was more moderate than in days previous at 1022 mbs mbs but still anchored just 600 nm off Cape Mendocino and ridging into the Pacific Northwest setting up a light offshore flow with no change forecast out 180 hours. From a surf condition standpoint, you can't ask for anything better. No rain and light offshore winds the word for now with Indian Summer coming a bit late this year.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Saturday (11/19) the last little patch of fetch associated with a low that pushed under New Zealand starting Friday (11/18) was fading in the Hawaii swell window. This one produced 28 ft seas late Friday that decayed to 23 ft Saturday AM and down from there. Some more background swell looks likely for Hawaii. Otherwise no swell producing fetch expected over the next 72 hours.
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 continue to tease with yet another swell producing storm suggested developing north of Hawaii on Thanksgiving Day (11/24) with pressure 986 mbs and winds 40 kts in it's south quadrant aimed primarily east to northeast. This one to really wind up on Friday (11/25) with pressure down to 972 mbs and 60 kts winds building in it's southwest sector aimed at California up the 280 degree path holding through the day. This system to then lift fast northeast with 50-60 kts winds aimed well at California up the 290-299 degree paths through the day likely pushing into Canada on Sunday (11/28). A mix of 30-37 ft seas suggested, aimed at California with only sideband energy pushing south to Hawaii. But it's way too early to have any confidence whatsoever in this outcome.
No other swell producing systems on the charts after that.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch forecast.
Details to follow...
Sharks, Sharks and more Sharks: Want to know all the details of every shark encounter over the past few months in California? You can read all about it in the fascinating chronology produced be the Shark Research Committee. There's alot more going on in our waters than you could ever have imagined (or ever wanted to know). http://www.sharkresearchcommittee.com/pacific_coast_shark_news.htm
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