On Tuesday (11/22) Northern CA surf was still up to head high and pristine clean. South facing breaks were waist to chest high. Central California surf was chest high at the better breaks. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high at the best breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist to chest high. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to near chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was functionally flat.
Not much of interest to report today other than beautiful conditions over California, but with only fading small swell. A change is in the wings with the storm track forecast to move dangerously close to Hawaii and strong high pressure driving north winds along the California coast by Friday. A bit more swell is suggested at both locales, but nothing remarkable, just rideable here and there. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays (11/22) jetstream analysis indicated strong winds continued pushing straight east off Japan at up to 160 kts centered on the 35N latitude line reaching across the dateline to a point just northeast of Hawaii, then veering due north up into Alaska. This pattern suggests low pressure aloft off the Kuril Islands and high pressure over California. No big change forecast until about 60 hours out when the jet finally pushes over the North California coast near Cape Mendocino, but not holding together as strong over the dateline. Then the jet from the dateline east is to get more ragged and less defined, though holding together fairly well off Japan till about the 90 hour mark. By Sunday (11/27) the entire jet is to fall apart across the North Pacific with no storm development suggested aloft. The models suggest by next Wednesday (11/30) the jet is to start re-energizing off Japan, but that's far from certain. In all the pattern does not look particularly great, with no defined troughs (dips) in the jet capable of support storm development forecast.
Today at the surface moderate high pressure at 1020 mbs remained centered 500 nmiles off South California pushing into the Pacific Northwest while a series of moderate low pressure systems were organizing north of Hawaii tracking fast to the north into Alaska. The first in the series was almost to the Alaska coast having produced fleeting bits of 30-35 kt fetch aimed somewhat at California and nothing aimed south at Hawaii. Limited 23 ft seas were aimed at California for 12-18 hours, which isn't much. Some small 13 sec windswell to result (see the QuikCAST's). Hawaii to see even less energy (if anything).
Yet another 992 mb low was right behind the first one and scheduled to build a little more on Wednesday (11/23) with 35-40 kt winds taking aim initially on Hawaii and then at California, moving reasonably close to both locations. 23 ft seas to push towards Hawaii. The low to build some as it tracks past Hawaii and fast to the north with 27 ft seas aimed initially at California. Winds building to near 50 kts Thursday (11/24) in the Gulf of Alaska but seas fading to 23 ft, limited because the winds lack of traction on the oceans surface. The net result is more windswell but much larger this go around, in the 9 ft range at 13 secs for both locations (Hawaii on Thursday and California late Friday).
See QuikCAST for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/22) high pressure remained firmly in control off the coast, but pristine conditions that have been the hallmark of the past week are coming to a close (if the models are right). The second in a series of relatively local lows is to drag a front over the San Francisco area late Thanksgiving with at 1030 mb high building in behind it early Friday (11/25) bringing 20-25 kt north winds by morning (up to 35 kt offshore) continuing through Saturday. Poor conditions expected into South CA. Yet another front with the requisite high pressure regime to follow late Sunday (11/27) with an even longer and stronger bout of north winds to follow into Wednesday (11/30).
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Friday and Saturday (11/19) a little patch of fetch associated with a low that pushed under New Zealand generated a small short-lived area of 28 ft seas late Friday that decayed to 23 ft Saturday AM and down from there. Some background swell (2 ft faces) looks possible for Hawaii on Sunday (11/27), though confidence is not real high
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 indicated windswell. Another weak low to form just north of Hawaii late Friday/early Saturday (11/26) with 30 kts winds and 20 ft seas aimed briefly but well at the Islands and maybe something from a very north angle for California. In fact the 18Z run of the models today (11/22) shows intense 65-70 kt winds and 40 ft seas building right before this system moves onshore over north of Vancouver Island Sunday (11/27) aimed well at North CA down the 310-315 degree great circle path, but confidence low in that outcome. Strong high pressure to build right behind on Monday making for building north winds along the California coast late Monday through the early part of next week. A new low is forecast over the dateline mid-next week but it's far too early to know whether anything will evolve from it. In all the pattern is not looking great, but at least it's not suggesting a flat spell either.
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