On Saturday (11/26) Northern CA surf was several feet overhead to double overhead and blown to bits. South facing breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead. Central California surf was head high to 1 ft over. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were chest to head high at the best breaks but mostly waist to chest high at others and wind blown. The LA area southward into Orange County was chest to head high. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with bigger sets at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was 2-3 ft overhead.
Large windswell is hitting North California and working it's way into the more protected breaks of Southern CA. But poor local wind conditions are putting a damper on things. The more interesting story is the expected development of a strong gale north of Hawaii today and tomorrow that's to push a fair amount of fetch right towards the Islands and in close proximity, likely resulting in rather large but raw swell. Otherwise the pattern remains less than ideal with no large scale normal-winter storms forecast. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Saturdays (11/26) jetstream analysis indicate strong winds continued pushing straight east off Japan at 150 kts centered on the 35N latitude line reaching to the dateline, splitting just barely with the southern branch diving over Hawaii while the north branch pushed to the Aleutians, then the whole thing came together pushing into North CA with winds up to 170 kts. Nothing particularly promising here but not poor either. Over the next 72 hours the whole thing is to fall apart with the flow heading off Japan loosing energy dropping to 120-130 kts and fading at the dateline. East of there the split pattern is to become more pronounced and with next to no energy suggested in either branch. A week out the Japan area is to start regenerating some with winds back up to 140-150 kts but limited to just than isolated area, fading and splitting as it reaches the dateline. The southern (and strongest) flow is to continue right over Hawaii while the northern branch pushes north of the Aleutians then veers south and just off Western Canada and the US heading inland over South CA. The net effect of this split is that no storm development is likely to occur from the dateline east, with all energy being directed north of the Aleutians and then down the Canadian coast.
Today at the surface strong high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered well north of Hawaii and ridging north to the Aleutians and east to the California coast. Low pressure at 996 mbs was starting to develop just north of the Hawaiian Islands with another over the dateline. The dateline low was tracking north and expected to provide no swell generating potential, but the low north of Hawaii is to be the one to watch. By Saturday evening pressure is to drop to 992 mbs as the low starts interacting with strong high pressure to the north producing 50-55 kt winds at 36N 152W aimed a bit west of the Hawaiian Islands. Seas building to 27 ft within 700 nmiles of Hawaii. On Sunday the low is slowly drift north with pressure down to 990 mbs with winds continuing at 45-50 kts in the same area aimed at Hawaii down the 10-15 degree great circle path. Seas building to 28-30 ft 800-900 nmiles north of the Islands. The low is to fade out on Monday (11/28). Good potential for large almost-swell if this plays out as forecast. See QuikCAST's for swell details.
Otherwise weak low pressure is to trickle down the Canadian coast with varying degrees of 30 kt fetch and 20 ft seas Sunday (11/27) aimed at the Pacific Northwest and North CA, good enough for some form of windswell.
See QuikCAST for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (11/26) high pressure was in-control off the coast at 1032 mbs driving strong north winds at 25-30 kts over the outer waters and nearly that strong nearshore. Windswell was hitting but it was basically unrideable. Fortunately that pattern to break up on Sunday (11/27) as a storm builds north of Hawaii drifting towards the California coast. Light winds to prevail before the storm moves in late Monday/Tuesday AM (11/29) bring south winds with it (mainly north of Pt Conception). Calm conditions to follow Wednesday before another local storm pushes in on Thursday (12/1) with more south winds. Clearing forecast by late Friday with north winds moving in Saturday. More windswell possibly building off the Canadian coast at the same time too. Looks like winter has finally arrived.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.
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
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 high pressure is to remain sitting right in the middle of the Aleutian storm corridor in the western Gulf of Alaska through the next week blocking any real migration of energy from off Siberia to the east. A series of lows are to try and push east off Siberia over the Kuril Islands, but all are to be redirected immediately north into the Bering Sea. Faint low pressure is to trickle down the Canadian coast with varying degrees of 30 kts fetch Tuesday (11/29) then again Thursday and Friday (12/1) producing 22 ft seas off the Oregon coast aimed best at California. Moderate sized windswell expected to result for exposed north facing breaks along the Pacific Northwest coast down into North and Central CA, but period to generally be 12-13 secs or less.
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