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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: December 13, 2005 8:32 PM GMT
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 4.2 - California & 4.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 12/12 thru Sun 12/18
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Strong Storm Pattern On the Charts
Small Surf Next Few Days Before Things set Up

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (12/13) Northern CA surf was head high to 1 ft overhead. South facing breaks were waist to chest high. Central California surf was chest to head high with sets one foot overhead. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high at the better breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist to chest high at the better spots. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high too. The North Shore of Oahu was less than 2 ft. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was maybe up to thigh high.

Generally small stuff today at all locations with nowhere having anything particularly outstanding. That same pattern to hold for a few more days, and for those of your who prefer smaller surf, you better make the most of it now. Because if the models are right a significant change expected to develop, and the long big wave drought may finally be over. It's too early to know for sure, but the models are really loading up. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays (12/13) jetstream indicated and impressive stream of energy flowing off Japan and pushing east to the dateline before fading centered on the 35N latitude. Winds were 200 kts in it's core, pushing just north of flat east (zonally). The same old split was occurring just east of Hawaii with the northern branch tracking weakly through the Gulf of Alaska and into the Central Canada while the southern branch pushed south of Hawaii then east into Central Baja. This split remained a bit of a problem, but there now data suggesting it will be short-lived. Still no sign of any trough or dips in the jet to cause surface level storm formation. Over the next 72 hours the jet is to push hard east reaching north of Hawaii by Friday (12/16) with solid 180-190 kt winds in it's core over the dateline. Only the coast immediately off California to not be affected. There is to be plenty of energy here, though no troughs are forecast. But by Saturday (12/17) that is to change with a nice trough setting up at the end of this long energy stream just north of Hawaii and aimed right towards the US west coast. By Sunday 220 kt winds are to be flowing into it pushing almost right over Hawaii (not good for them) but providing a nice pocket for surface level storm development. That to fade out next week as a flat stream of 170 kt winds blow across the length of the North Pacific terminating 1200 nmiles west of Pt Conception. In all this looks reasonably promising (if not a little more).

Today at the surface weak high pressure at 1028 mbs was holding a thin veil of protection off the Washington State coast while a secondary high at 1024 mbs was just north of Hawaii. Otherwise two lows were pushing east driven by the strong jet level flow aloft, signaling the possible start of an active phase for the Aleutian Storm Corridor, though displaced a bit further south than usual. One low was just crossing the dateline with pressure at 988 mbs with winds confirmed at 50-60 kts over a tiny area centered at 44N 165W aimed right down the 297 degree great circle path to NCal, right down the middle of the prime swell corridor but cutting 50 degrees east of the 347 degree path to Hawaii.This system to lift north through the evening with 50 kt winds continuing at 47N 160W aimed best at Ncal down the 301 degree path (nothing at Hawaii) with 20 ft seas developing (though that seems a little low). This storm to be gone by Wednesday AM with a small patch of 22 ft seas lingering. Utility swell for exposed breaks in California likely late Thursday into Friday (12/16). This storm isn't so much of a swell producer as a primer to get the storm pump going.

 

Possible Storm #4
Also on Tuesday (12/13) a 992 mb low was developing just east of the dateline with winds there too confirmed at 50-60 kts centered at 38N 170E aimed due east or right at CA down the 295 degree path and 20 degrees east of Hawaii down the 308 degree path. This low is to track east overnight on the same heading and strength pushing over the dateline Wednesday AM (12/14) with pressure down to 976 mbs. Seas forecast at 25 ft on the dateline. Wednesday evening this system to start blossoming 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii with 45-50 kts winds covering a solid area in the storms southwest sector at 39N 160W aimed well east of any path to Hawaii and 25 degrees south of the 285 degree path to North CA (293 SCal). Seas to 30 ft at 40N 167W. Wind continuing Thursday AM at 45-50 kts centered near 40N 153W aimed like before. Seas to 32 ft centered at 40N 160W. Yet one more decent reading forecast that evening like the other before it at 43N 150W aimed right down the 297 degree path to Ncal (301 SCal). Seas 30 ft forecast at 43N 152W.

If this one develops as forecast possible significant class swell could result for exposed breaks in California late Saturday into Sunday (12/18) with significant class sideband energy pushing into Hawaii late Friday evening (12/16). Will monitor.

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (12/13) high pressure at 1028 mbs was hanging just off Vancouver Island providing storm protection and light winds for the whole US west coast. But that protection is to be severely tested in the coming days if the models are right. No big changes forecast through Thursday (12/15) as high pressure tries to hang on. But by Friday the first in a series of south tracking storms is to push dangerously close dragging south winds right up to our area (Pt Conception northward) and wave after wave to follow unabated through mid-next week. The one ray of hope is for South CA, where high pressure is to hold on through the duration, possibly holding favorable wind conditions through the entire storm cycle.

The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the weather picture is to get most turbulent. Storm #3 is to be the forerunner of Storm #4, a large and lumbering beast that's to fill the Northeast Pacific starting Friday (12/16). Pressure to be 976 mbs as the upper jetstream digs out a deep trough north of Hawaii with the storm sitting right in it 1200 nmiles north of the Islands. A huge fetch of 35-40 kts winds with imbedded areas to 50 kts are to cover the entire area from the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians southeast into the storms core then veering northeast into the Gulf of Alaska. This to continue into Sunday AM (12/18) with seas ranging from 28-32 ft over then entire area. Most energy to be aimed mid-way between Hawaii and California towards southern Baja. Most impressive and that's just the start.

Another 980 mb low to regenerate in that area Monday (12/19) lifting fast to the north producing 32 ft seas aimed at Baja (Storm #5) while 2 more super sized systems setting up north of Hawaii with 35 ft seas and 50 kt winds and off Japan with 50 kt winds and 43 ft seas (Storms # 6 & #7). Now this is real swell generation potential. Of course poor local winds could be an issue.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

More Local Wind Models: Stormsurf is proud to announce the expansion of our local wind models, now providing global coverage. Get the latest local wind forecast updated 4 times daily with coverage out 7.5 days. See them here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu.html

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

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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