On Sunday (11/26) Northern CA surf was chest to shoulder high and clean early but weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were maybe thigh high. Central California surf was waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were maybe thigh high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was picking up thigh high sets with best breaks to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was head high.
Hawaii continues to take top honors today with fun sized surf and offshore's on the North Shore. California had a little dribble coming through both north and south, but it was mostly on the small side and gutless. The jetstream is favoring Hawaii so it will not be surprising to see the better surf there, with a weak storm pattern in place over the Eastern Pacific suggestive of weak surf conditions for the mainland. The big nemesis of storms continues to be the split jetstream flow aloft, now centered over the Eastern Pacific producing generally higher pressure there and shutting down the Gulf of Alaska while the West Pacific is to have a consolidated flow, but no defining troughs to really fuel storm development. So in all even the best spots in the North Pacific are to result in mostly moderate size waves. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (11/26) looked much as they were expected to days earlier with a muddled-poorly defined flow pushing off Japan dipping into a very weak trough over the dateline, then splitting with the northern branch pushing hard north over Alaska and totally shutting the Gulf of Alaska down while the very weak southern branch meandered over Hawaii and into Baja. Most uninspiring overall with the only area remotely interesting being the mini trough over the dateline, but even that was not very likely to fuel much gale development at the oceans surface. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (11/29) improvements are suggested but only in the west, and only at a theoretically level. The jet is expected to energize pushing off Japan with a single strong flow at 150 kts pushing slightly north of east towards the dateline, but disintegrating before making it there. A very weak and unorganized flow to persist over the East Pacific with a split flow in control, though the ridge over the Gulf is to break down some. In all no clear support for storm development though. Beyond 72 hours the new pocket of energy off Japan is to hold and push further east reaching the dateline with 160 kt winds over the West Pacific, though no defined trough yet to develop. A fully split and anemic flow to continue over the East Pacific with a ridge again pushing the northern branch over Alaska and the southern branch dipping a bit over Hawaii then slipping into Baja. In all much better than in days and weeks past, possibly setting the stage for something better a few weeks out, but not there yet.
At the surface today moderate low pressure at 984 mbs was in the far North Bering Sea and totally landlocked, incapable of generating any winds over exposed North Pacific waters. A second low was over the Western Aleutians generating 30-35 kt northwest winds streaming southeast off Kamchatka producing 21 ft seas headed towards Hawaii down the 318 degree path. That to hold through the day sending some 12 sec swell into the Hawaiian Islands Thurs/Fri (12/1) estimated at 8 ft @ 12 secs (8-9 ft faces) from 315-320 degrees. Also a low was directly over the Pacific Northwest while high pressure was midway between California and Hawaii. A pressure gradient had set up between the two systems generating north winds pushing down the Pacific Northwest coast at 30-35 kts expected to hold into Monday then fading, and generating 20 ft seas pushing mostly into Oregon with lesser sized and highly junked windswell pushing south into North Ca with lesser energy further south. Otherwise over the next 72 hours low pressure is to start pushing off Japan tracking towards the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians reaching that destination Wednesday with the only fetch produced to be aimed northeast towards the Eastern Aleutians and not of much use for either Hawaii or California with only 21 ft seas pushing generally towards those locales. A little cutoff low is suggested developing north of Hawaii Wednesday generating 24 hours of 30-35 kt winds and 20 ft seas aimed south, good for some localized windswell for northern shores there on Thurs/Fri (12/1), but that's it.
Tropical Storm Durian was positioned 220 nmiles southwest of Guam tracking almost due west with winds 45 kts and on the increase. Current projections have it building steadily with winds up to 130 kts on Thursday (11/30) as it hits the northern Philippines, then continuing on to the west-northwest. No indication of it recurving northeast towards open waters of the Pacific.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (11/26) high pressure at 1030 mbs was 1000 nmiles northeast of Hawaii while low pressure at 994 mbs was over the coast of Washington with a moderate pressure gradient developing between the two systems generating north winds of 30-35 kts mostly north of the California swell window, though bit's of wind were in the northern edge of the window aimed south likely generating windswell. This situation to hold through Monday with a front pushing down the coast from late Sunday in to Monday with lesser fetch of 15-20 kt north winds pushing into Northern CA waters making for lot's of lump and chop upon arrival of the windswell. North to northwest winds to continue unabated in the 15-20 kt range and even pushing into South CA Monday and Tuesday. The high to hold into Wednesday with north winds in control, then finally relenting Thursday with offshore's setting up over the entire state and holding through the weekend.
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 another low to push off Japan on Wednesday (11/29) tracking on a more southern route towards the dateline. Winds to build to near 55 kts Thursday AM aimed right down the 318 degree path towards Hawaii from just west of the dateline with seas building to 30 ft, then fading fast to 45 kts in the evening still aimed reasonably well towards Hawaii down the 328 degree path with seas holding at 30 ft but starting to favor the mainland. The low to steadily lift northeast as it moves into the Gulf of Alaska with 40-45 kts winds and 27-29 ft seas aimed well towards California through Saturday AM, then it's to get shoved north of the Aleutians by building high pressure nestled in the split flow over the Eastern Pacific.
A second smaller low to follow over the weekend positioned over the dateline with 40 kt winds aimed towards Hawaii, but it too to lift north even quicker as high pressure builds it's lock over the far Eastern Pacific. Looks like a pattern is setting up.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.
Details to follow...
More New Content - Precipitation Models: Over the holidays we focused on expanding our coverage of precipitation models, and now provide high resolution coverage of all US coastal locations. You can now tell whether it will be raining when the surf is pumping, or better yet, know whether it will be snowing in the higher elevations (West Coast). Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wx.html
Weather Model Problem: The past few days the 12Z run of the GFS model has been corrupted when posted on government servers, resulting in our graphic output looking like psychedelic gibberish. This is not a Stormsurf problem and we are switching over to backup servers that are operating normally to capture the data. We have reported the problem to NOAA. This problem has been confirmed by other server users as well. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Jason-1 Satellite Problem: On Oct 31 the Jason-1 satellite automatically went into safe-hold mode. This is triggered when sensors on the satellite detect an anomaly that suggests the satellite is in danger. It goes into a type of hibernation to protect it's sensitive instruments. JPL has been working on the issue and was able to restore the satellite to normal operations at 8:30 PM on Friday 11/17. No new data is available yet, but as soon as it is we'll be publishing it over the wave models images as usual here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html
New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/
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
New Stormsurf Local Wave Models: Nine months in development and testing, Stormsurf is proud to announce the release of our upgraded local wave models. More locations, more fidelity, more variables imaged including sea height, swell period, wind speed & direction, and wave height plus the older style composite images of surf height and wind all updated 4 times daily. Check them out here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wam.html
Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table