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Marine Weather News and Current Events

Epic TV goes to Rapa Nui and scores. Nice Stormsurf plug too: Rapa Nui

Wall of Skulls - Here's a great video featuring Tahiti's famous wave. There's also a nice little plug for Stormsurf in it too. http://vimeo.com/70308073

Super Natural - Powerlines Productions has released their new big wave surf video chronicling the epic El Nino winter of 2009-2010 plus many other big wave event through the 2012-2013 winter season. It's a must see event for any big wave rider. It's for sale here: http://www.mavz.com/movies/super-natural/

Nantucket Marine Mammals has documented a short video concerning whale conservation and awareness off the Northeast US Coast. See it here: https://vimeo.com/68771910

Jason-1 Satellite Decommisioned - On June 21 an error occurred on board the Jason-1 satellite and it automatically shut down all critical functions. The satellite has since officially been decommissioned. It's last working transmitter failed on 6/21. All efforts have been made to get a response to no avail. The satellite has been placed in a parking orbit with it's solar panels turned away from the the sun. It's batteries are to discharge in the next 90 days. No additional data is expected from this satellite. We are working to start capturing data from the Jason-2 satellite, but that will take some time. More information to follow.

'CBS This Morning' with the Mavericks Invitational Surf Contest - See a nice morning TV show piece on the Mavericks Contest held Sun 1/20/13. The show aired Wed 1/23. Interviews with Colin Dwyer, Jeff Clark, Mark Sponsler and Grant Washburn: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50139546n

Jaws Redbull Contest Forecast Explained By Stormsurf
http://www.redbullusa.com/cs/Satellite/en_US/Video/Mark-Sponsler-explains-what-is-needed-for-Red-021243299250784

Cortes Bank Mission (12/21-12/22/2012)
http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/story/_/id/8775178/greg-long-survives-cortes-bank-close-call
http://espn.go.com/action/surfing/story/_/id/8775197/greg-long-survives-serious-wipeout-cortes-bank

The Making of 'Chasing Mavericks' - See some background footage on how the movie was made: Part1, Part2

The Psychology of Big Wave Surfing with Greg Long - A must see for any aspiring big wave rider: http://vimeo.com/51117940

Greg Long XCel Core Files - Here's a great profile of Greg Long and his contributions toward pushing the state of big wave surfing. Well Done - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd9pqgiXfxk&feature=player_embedded

Chasing Mavericks - The Jay Moriarty Movie: Two trailers for the new movie about Jay, Frosty and Mavericks has been posted. Movie opens on 10/26/12. Here's the link: http://www.mtv.com/videos/movie-trailers/818957/chasing-mavericks.jhtml & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNdYoX9Vfxg&feature=relmfu

Props from the Pros:  Stormsurf was mentioned over the past week in two different media sources.  One was in an interview Kelly Slater did with the New York Times and another was in a promotional piece Ramon Navarro did for the Big Wave World Tour. Many thanks to Curt Myers from Powerline Productions for alerting us and of course thanks to Kelly, Ramon and the Tour for using our service. Here's the links:  
http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/05/27/travel/kelly-slaters-wave-finding-tips.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRSIkqpCqjU&feature=g-all-u

Steve Colleta Surfboards - Check out surfboards by local shaper Steve Coletta - A long time Santa Cruz local and master shaper. Progressive shapes for North and Central CA waves http://www.naturalcurvesboards.com

Chasing the Swell has been nominated for a Webby Award. See details of this great piece of video journalism below. Some say this is the "Oscars" of online awards.One of the awards is voter based. If you have a moment, please cast your ballot by going to: http://webby.aol.com, register, then click on the "Get Voting" tab and then to the "Online Film and Video" > "Sports" category and vote for "Chasing the Swell".

Timmy Reyes - Curt Myers from Powerlines Productions found this little gem with Timmy Reyes providing a brief statement about which sites he uses for swell chasing. Thought we'd pass it on. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P30ZCQOsYwY

Stormsurf Mobile App (1/9/11) We are proud to announce the official public release of our smartphone mobile app. It provides access to our most popular and commonly used products, optimized for use on the road, on the beach or anywhere you don't have a desktop or laptop.  With a smart phone and signal, you will have access to our data. And we're not talking just a few teaser products - We're talking full feature wave models, weather models, real-time buoy data, manually built forecasts and hundreds of spot wave and wind forecasts enabling you to construct a surf forecast for any location on the planet, all from your cell phone and all for free.  No subscription required and no hidden fees. And better yet, there's a few new things sprinkled in that are not yet available even on our full-featured web site. From your smart phones browser just navigate to: www.stormsurf.com/mobile 

Mavericks Surf Shop Grand OpeningSunday, December 19 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. rain or shine!  Check out the new home of Jeff Clark's Mavericks Surf Shop, now located at 25 Johnson Pier in Pillar Point Harbor.  The shop features much of Clark's surfing memorabilia, classic boards and photos, as well as an entirely new line of Jeff Clark original Mavericks clothing, accessories and surfboards. The shop has been open in the new location since December 8, and the Grand Opening party is set for this coming Sunday, just in time for Christmas.  The party starts at 2 p.m., with live music, food and drinks. Jeff Clark and many Mavericks surfers will be there to meet the public. Local restaurants Ketch Joanne's and Princeton Seafood will serve up delicious food, while San Francisco Wine Trading Company is providing the beverages.  The shop will be open all weekend, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Stormsurf Maintenance Upgrades: Buoy 46059 and 46012 were replaced a month or so ago. Totally new buoys were installed. Here on Stormsurf we had to reset the algorithms used to calculate 'pure swell' for them. That was accomplished on 11/13. Pure swell numbers are now correct. Links: 46012, 46059

Also since we moved to the new weather model server last month we discovered that our Longrange Precipitation Models ceased to display frozen precipitation (as they once did). Some of our scripts did not get installed on the new server. That has been fixed (11/13) and now snow is again viewable worldwide. Here the new North America sample.

Chasing The Swell: Sachi Cunningham from the LA Times spent the entirety of last winter chasing surfers and swells around the North Pacific with her high def video cam. Her timing couldn't have been any better with the project exactly coinciding with the strongest El Nino in 12 years resulting in the best big wave season in a decade. And being an accomplished surfer herself helped her to bring a poignant and accurate account of the what it's like to ride big waves and the new (and some not so new) personalities that are revitalizing the sport. This is must-see material for any surfer or weather enthusiast. Check it out here: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/chasingtheswell/

New Weather Models With the activation of our new server we have now released a new block of weather models including North America jetstream, wind and precipitation, local coastal wind forecasts in 1 hr increments and snow and mountain wind forecasts in both 1 and 3 hours increments. The new animations can be found here (look for those items tagged with the New! icon): http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wx.html

New Weather Model Server Stormsurf has installed another weather model production server. This has enabled us to spread the load across more servers allowing us to post both wave and weather model updates much quicker.  Also we are testing new content (like North America jetstream, winds and precipitation, local wind forecasts in 1 hr increments and snow and mountain wind forecasts in both 1 and 3 hours increments). The model menus will be updated shortly with these new links.   

New Wave Model Facts: As many of you have noticed, we have not updated the tutorials/FAQs yet regarding the new wave models. We just wanted to get the new data out quickly.  Detailed explanations of what is going on behind the scenes will follow shortly. But here's a few highlights:

Having the ability to depict Prime/Primary swell height was one of the main drivers behind the upgrade, on top of the new raw grib files being multiple times higher resolution than the old ones. You will not find primary swell heights posted on any other commercial site on the web.  It is essential to know the 'pure' swell height and swell period to accurately calculate Surf/Wave height. Our old Wave charts used some trickery to estimate swell height from available data, which resulted in a pretty picture, but their accuracy was limited. The new version chooses which of up to 6 swells is the dominant one. 

The issue with the models and prime swell is that there is no 'swell' data to be viewed near a fetch area. In such locations the wind driven waves might be called windwave, or something even less refined than that. For those instances, the Significant Sea Height chart would be the appropriate one  to use to view what's going on in a fetch. As one would expect, near the core of a fetch swell defaults to a value of near 0 (since there is no swell, only wind driven seas) .  Hence you see either choppy images or missing data near the core of storms.  And if the fetch is near the coast, the same problem occurs.  

To mitigate this, we attempt to display windwave if no swell was present, but still that does not completely eliminate the fractured nature of some of the images where strong winds are occurring.  Hence some readers have complained about the new images not being as 'clean' as the old ones.  Such complaints are valid.

But the great benefit of the new approach is that as the raw wind driven seas start to emerge from the fetch area, one can clearly see the primary swell developing and radiating out from the fetch, much the way the swell period charts depict the swell moving out from the fetch.  What this means is one can take the swell period and swell height values from the charts for any given point on the planet, and integrate those values to compute surf height. Or you can just use our Wave images which essentially do the same thing. But again, if the fetch is snuggling up to the coast, you will get dropouts in data since the swell value essentially falls to 0 near the storms core. And since there is no 'pure' swell in the fetch itself, Wave height values often will not be present. If you see this occurring near your shore, you know the resulting surf will likely be quite raw since it essentially is in the fetch area.  

We also changed the color scale on the Swell and Wave images, amplifying it to 1 ft increments from 1-10 ft, then 2 ft increments from 10 ft and above.  This should provide greater surf height accuracy, especially for locations that typically do not get large surf. Additionally we upgraded all land masses using our new 3D tomographic images. 

This is state of the art technology, and it takes some getting used to, but is by far more accurate than anything previous, and sets us up to build yet better products in the future. We thank you for your patience and though it might take some time to acclimate to the new charts, your surf hunting will be better rewarded in the long run. Suggestions or comments are always welcome.

Note (2/12) - The 'old style' NPac, SPac, Full Pac NAtla etc. Surf Height models will be brought back next week. We'll also continue running the new style ones in parallel. The technology on the new style charts is far mode advanced and believed to be more accurate, but many users have calibrated their surf forecast methodologies to the old style charts, so by popular demand, they will be restored (running off the new hi-def gribs).

Stormsurf Wave Models Updated: On Friday (2/6) we installed the latest upgrade to our wavemodels. A year in the works, this upgrade essentially is a total re-write of every wave model product we produce. They now take advantage of the new Version 3 of the Wavewatch wavemodel. This version runs at a much higher resolution, specifically 0.0 X 0.5 degrees for the global grib with local products at 0.1667 X 0.1667 degrees, and it uses the hi-res GFS model for wind speeds. And of even more interest, the model now identifies primary swell and windwave variables. As such we now have new model images which displays this data. Also we've included out special 3D topographic land masks into all models. In all it makes for a radical step forward in wave model technology. We'll be upgrading minor components (FAQ, new menu pages etc) for a few weeks to come, but all the basics are available for your use now. Check it out here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wam.html

Story About Stormsurf: The folks at SurfPulse (and specifically author Mike Wallace) have written up a really nice article about Stormsurf, complete with some good pics. Learn about how we came to be and a little of where we are going. Check it out here: http://www.surfpulse.com/2009/01/visceral-surf-forecasting-with-mark-sponsler/

Help Out a Fellow Mavericks Surfer: Our friend Christy Davis is going through some tough times. His 14 year old daughter has been diagnosed with leukemia and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy. The prognosis is good but we'd all like to help him out with medical expenses not covered by insurance. If you would like to donate, send an email to us here or send it to Christy directly at: Chris Davis PO Box 628 Moss Beach, CA 94038

Swell #2 Mavericks Videos from Powerlines Productions: Check out the action on both Saturday and Sunday (11/30) from that massive swell of 12-13 ft @ 25 secs. Filmed by Curt Myers and Eric Nelson. Really thick! See this and more plus the movie Ride-On 12/11 at the Old Princeton Landing or the Red Vic Moviehouse in San Francisco 12/19-23. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA57cIBkA0o & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37SCR9kDm60

Stormsurf Video: Just for fun - here's a clip about Stormsurf that ran on Bay Area TV a while back. Thought you might enjoy it: http://vimeo.com/2319455

Pictures from Swell #1 - The first real significant class swell of the season produced a bit of action at Mavericks. See pictures here http://www.mavsurfer.com

Big Surf Up North - the First swell of the Fall 2008/2009 season brought a few large raw waves to the North Ca Coast. Check out the details here: http://www.towsurfer.com/default.asp

The Kelly Slater Project - A group of dedicated surfers from Cocoa Beach are working to construct a statue of the the home town legend and set it up for all to enjoy near the break where Kelly grew up surfing. Take a look at the statue and read all about it here: http://www.thekellyslaterproject.com/

STORMSURF Local Wave Models Upgraded - We significantly upgraded the local waves models on Sunday (6/8). All now utilize our newly developed high-resolution 3D shaded relief topography for mapping landmasses. Coastlines are now accurate down to the individual pixel providing near photographic realism. Mountains and hills are all shaded and accurate to within the same single pixel specification. Cities are overlaid as before, but now we've added major highways and rivers too (for many locations). Some good examples of this new technology can be viewed here:
- View the reefs north of Tahiti and notice their contribution to the 'Swell Shadow' relative to California - Tahiti
- Notice the detail of the coast in and around Vancouver Islands and Washington State - Pacific Northwest
- See the details of inland waterways of the US Northeast Coast - Virginia
- Details of the Mentawai Island and Nias

And all the local models can be found either on our homepage or from the wavemodel page (bottom half of the page).

Time Zone Converter - Finally! By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Mavericks Contest 2008: View all the action from the 2008 Maverick Surf Contest from Powelines Productions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5lj9CUpCc

Half Moon Bay Surfers - Attention: There¹s a movement afoot to dredge sand out of the Pillar Point (i.e. Half Moon Bay) Harbor and dump it just south of the jetty, so it will replenish all sand that¹s disappeared between the harbor and HMB. The guy who¹s spearheading the project, Brian Overfelt, has already received a positive preliminary reading from the local harbor commissioners. He¹s making a formal presentation to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary¹s advisory council this coming Friday (2/15) at Our Lady of Pillar church in Half Moon Bay. (It's on Kelly Ave, just east of the Coast Highway, across the street from Cunha Intermediate School.) starting at 9 AM. More details here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/hmb_dredge.html

Grib File Switchover: The old grib1 format wave model datafiles that have been the mainstay of the National Weather service for years now are scheduled to be retired on 1/26. We switched over to the new grib2 files starting with the 00z run of Thurs 1/17. All appears to be running fine. There is no functional change to the content of the models, just that files we receive are now smaller due to improved compression of grib2. But this sets us up to start processing new higher resolution files and building new products in the months ahead. So in all it's a good maintenance level change.

Sharkwater: There's a new feature film called Sharkwater that is hitting theaters November 2nd. Sharkwater is an award winning documentary (22 international film awards including the UN and Cannes) that broke box office records in Canada, opening to bigger numbers than any documentary in history save Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me. It is a conservation film that demonstrates that the biggest influence on the air we breathe, and global warming is life in the oceans – except life in the oceans is being wiped out. Shark populations have dropped 90% in the last 30 years alone, and the oceans continue to be destroyed because nobody knows that it's happening Learn more here: http://www.sharkwater.com

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com

Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit www.thesurfbook.com. Submit online at www.casagrandepress.com

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com

Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists. http://www.waveridersgallery.net/

6th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race: Saturday June 23rd 2007. Surftech is presenting the 6th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race. The “Jay Race” is considered one of the premiere paddleboard races on the West Coast attracting the states best paddlers to compete in the challenging waters of the Monterey Bay. is the 12-mile race course that start's and finishes at beautiful New Brighton State Beach in Aptos and loops through the kelp beds of the Monterey Bay. In addition to the 12 mile race, there will be a 2 mile Short Course and Youth Races for paddlers of all levels. The 2 mile race is an opportunity for paddlers of all levels to compete.” It's about sharing the spirit and stoke that Jay shared with everyone” With this spirit in mind, many competitors partaking in the 12 mile race offer their boards to newer competitors to use in the shorter race. With the 12 mile race starting at 8:30 am, the other races begin mid day with the awards being presented at around 2:00 pm. For more information:
Gunnar Roll - Phone: 831-462-9585 e-mail: rollfamily3178@sbcglobal.net or Duke Brouwer - Phone: 831-479-4944 e-mail: jayrace@surftech.com

Jason-1 Satellite Data Back On-line: Jason-1 satellite data (used to verify significant wave heights) is back on-line. It had been down for months. The main altimeter on the satellite took a major radiation hit back in November. While that didn't completely disable the sensor or the data feed, the damage did cause the data to be downloaded on a much less frequent basis, making it unusable for posting over our real-time wave models. Fortunately a second altimeter exists and we're now receiving and process data from it. There are still a few spurious bit's of bad data in the stream that were working to filter out, but in the mean time most of it is quite useable. The good news is this data is near-real time, with only a 2-3 hour time lag, a significant improvement over the old sensor even when it was operating normally. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here: http://www.surfingtravel.com/

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and people that make up the surf community. Check it out here: http://www.thesurfbook.com

STORMSURF on the News: NBC-11 came to visit Stormsurf last week to talk about the Mavericks Surf Contest and surf forecasting. See the piece here: http://www.nbc11.com/mavericks Click on 'Mavericks Forecaster'

Surf Video Clips at Yousurftubes.com - Check out this new website dedicated soley to high quality - high action surf clips from around the world. Great action form Morocco, Hawaii, Mexico, California and many more spots all streaming right to your desktop. Piles of fun and hours on enjoyment. Check it out now at: http://www.Yousurftubes.com

High Noon and Low Tide: Eric Nelson has remastered this epic Mavericks documentary covering a week of giant surf leading up to that fateful day of 12/23/94 when we lost Mark Foo. See all the footage with archived and recent interviews of all the best riders including Grant Washburn, Doc Renneker, Evan Slater, Peter Mel and more. This is a must-have piece for any serious Maverick collection. Available at local surfshops. Will be coming to an on-line store shortly.

El Nino Forecast Updated: El Nino is making it's mark on the Pacific Ocean, though yet to have a major impact on the atmosphere above. Read when the storm machine might fire up, and what evidence is stacking up in favor of El Nino here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/enso/current.shtml

New 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 (11/21/06)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. Update: The problem has been fixed. Service has returned to normal as of 11/25/06.

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
Note: The first bit of fresh data was posted on 11/29/06 and were processing it right now.

'Inside Mavericks' Signing Session: Buy a book, meet the authors and get some signatures from some of the crew that contributed to 'Inside Mavericks' on Saturday (10/21) starting at 5 PM in downtown Half Moon Bay at Moon News book store in the Tin Palace. It's located on Main Street right next to Pasta Moon Restaurant.

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: 9 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!
http://www.google.com/ig/add?moduleurl=http://www.stormsurf.com/gadget/stormsurf .xml

Shark Park DVD: Watch an international team of towsurfers ride a virgin wave at a remote offshore reef during the giant winter swells of 2005/2006. Greg Huglin is a man possessed; a Californian who has traveled the world in search of surf, returning home only to continue the hunt in his own backyard. And what a find he uncovered. A truly thick, dumping, mud-dredging slab of a wave sitting out in the open exposed to all the energy the North Pacific can throw at it. This is the story of Greg's pursuit and amazing adventures to Shark Park. Read more here and buy the video: http://www.towsurfingadventures.com/

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

Oregon Shark Attack - Here's a first hand account and pictures (somewhat graphic) of a recent shark attack in Oregon. Tom (the victim) is recovering well. We wish him and his family the best of luck - Oregon Shark Attack

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

Down the Line: Powerlines Production movie guru's Curt Myers and Eric W. Nelson unleash their latest creation which explores the big wave conditions in Hawaii, California and Chile last year. Includes footage from Peahi, the Mavericks Surf Contest and Ghost Trees. See it Oct 21st at 7 and 9 PM in Santa Cruz. More details here: http://www.powerlinesproductions.com

Our New Wave and Weather Models went live Saturday afternoon (9/17). They can be viewed anytime by just clicking on 'Models' on the navigation bar at the top of every page. There is a Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) page that should help provide additional information about the models, their source and resolutions etc... Also, we apologize in advance but all the links on the model page have changed (more details below).

New Stormsurf Wave & Weather Models: After a year of development we're ready to release our newest installment of Regional and Local wave models. They feature a global collection of 11 hi-resolution regional wave models (sea height, period wind and waves plus some filters) plus a selection of 42 drill down local wave models that focus on surf height and local winds. This package also includes a sample of US high resolution surface wind and pressure charts. Unfortunately if you've built bookmarks to the existing models, those links will change. We'll apologize for the inconvenience in advance but the new server we've set up is much faster and worth the change. The transition will occur sometime in the next two weeks over a weekend. They're might be a few hours where the data is stale, but otherwise it should be seamless. We're very excited about these models and look forward to providing it for your use (9/8).

The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC), the prime source for all buoy data for North America took a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina. The NDBC and their webservers are located at Stennis Space Center 15 miles inland from Bay St Louis Louisiana. The eye of hurricane Katrina passed directly overhead on the morning of 8/29 at 11Z (6 AM CDT). At that time the last reading recorded from any NOAA buoy was received. As a historical reference point: Buoy 42040 located 60 nmiles due south and 23 nmiles east of where the eastern eye-wall made landfall (the strongest part of the storm) reported seas of 51.5 ft @ 14 secs (13Z) with winds 52 kts gusting to 70 kts and pure swell of 37.8 ft @ 14.3 secs. The base was evacuated and no power or communications were available for that area and no damage assessment was posted. It was reported that NOAA was working on setting up a mirror website in the days after Katrina's passage, but no estimate was available when such a site might be operational or whether our buoy software would be able to interface to it. But starting Sunday evening (9/4) the NOAA site came back on-line and an a small amount of updated buoy information tricked through the lines to our server. Apparently the team at NOAA was working on either an interim solution or power had been restored to the base and they were hard at work attempting to restore the servers to an operational status. Then on Monday afternoon the whole system came up with hourly updates again being processed. Many thanks to those dedicated folks at NOAA working this issue. As a result of their dedication, the buoys at Stormsurf are again operational 24X7 (click on 'Buoys' on the navigation bar above).

Proposed Senate Bill SB 786 (Part3): A rather opinionated but entertaining analysis of the motivations behind this bill (see below) can be found here: http://slate.msn.com/id/2123557/

Proposed Senate Bill SB 786 (Part2): We have heard from Senator Barbara Boxer and she has provided the following clarification, confirming our analysis of the bill. She writes:

Thank you for contacting me regarding S.786, the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your views, and I share your concerns about this bill. S.786 seeks to severely restrict the functions of the National Weather Service (NWS), which is run by the federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The NWS currently offers a wide range of free weather services for all Americans, including invaluable information for airplane pilots, farmers, and those seeking details about severe weather in their areas. This bill would prevent the NWS from offering these free weather services to the public. Instead, private weather companies, which rely primarily on the same data used by the NWS, would charge Americans for their services. The NWS provides a reliable and effective public service that is utilized by over six million Americans each day. S.786 eliminates this valuable service and unfairly penalizes people by requiring them to pay for information that should be available free of charge. This bill is currently in the Senate Commerce Committee, of which I am a member. Rest assured that I am not in favor of this bill and that I will work with my colleagues to prevent this bill from reaching the full Senate floor.

Proposed Senate Bill SB 786 to Restrict Free Weather Data Giving it Only to Private Companies for Re-Sale to the Public. If you view the free info from buoys, wind, weather and wave models currently provided on this and many other sites, prepare to see it end if this bill gets passed. Please write your State Senator to oppose this bill. California Senators are Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. You can voice your opinion via the online forms here:http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm for Barbara Boxer and http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html for Dianne Feinstein. Refernce SB 786 and state your desire to see this bill not be made into law. The bill itself can be seen here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:s786: Specifically read section 2(b) which states:

    COMPETITION WITH PRIVATE SECTOR- The Secretary of Commerce shall not provide, or assist other entities in providing, a product or service (other than a product or service described in subsection (a)(1)) that is or could be provided by the private sector unless--

    (1) the Secretary determines that the private sector is unwilling or unable to provide such product or service; or

    (2) the United States Government is obligated to provide such product or service under international aviation agreements to provide meteorological services and exchange meteorological information.

Our interpretation of the bill indicates that NOAA will only be allowed to issue severe weather alerts and all other forecast and weather data will be given to the private sector (commercial companies) for redistribution. It is unclear whether the data will be freely available to all commercial organizations and exactly who will have access and whether a price will be affixed. This ambiguity will likely make for a poor law, and hence the concern about equal access to everyone.

In writing to your senator, one of our readers has provided some text that we feel represents the concerns of many citizens. You can cut and paste this text into your correspondence. Of course you're always free to write your own opinion (we're just trying to save you some time):

I'm writing you because I'm strongly opposed to Senate Bill SB 786, which has been referred to committee.  This bill would prohibit NOAA from publicly distributing climatic and oceanographic data it currently publishes on its website.  Under this bill, this and other data would still have to be collected by NOAA, but it would have to be disseminated by "commercial providers of products or services."  Presumably, these commercial providers would charge citizens for the service, and it is unclear if the commercial providers would have to remunerate NOAA.  If the Government funds collection of data, that data should be available to citizens, and not exclusively to commercial entities.   Because so many of your constituents use or could potentially use the services NOAA currently provides, I urge you to make your strong disapproval of this bill readily apparent. 

A few minutes of your time could make a big difference. Once the bill passes, there's no going back. Thanks in advance for your concern.

4th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race: On July 9 at New Brighton State Beach, Santa Cruz CA the fourth annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard race will be held in honor of a great waterman and individual. Come out and see how fast you can go on Jay's turf. Long course, short course and youth races will be held. We will make boards available if you want to try it out. Profits benefit local Junior guards. Detailed information available here:
http://www.scsla.org/paddleboard/index.html

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

A failure in the NWS Central Computing System has rendered some web and ftp sites inoperable. As of 9 AM Eastern Daylight, June 28th 2005, the system is expected to be restored by the morning of June 29th.

Big Florida Swell: A strong gale pushed off Cape Hatteras on 4/15 generating solid seas and a 70 ft rogue wave that hit a cruise ship before proceeded south to make solid waves for the Southeast US coast. Matt Kechele was there to catch it. Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/kechele.html

Stormsurf Weather Models Updated Again: Yes, we've been at it again this weekend getting another batch of weather models running. Global coverage is now provided for jetstream forecasts and surface pressure and winds. Zoomed in data is also available for such locations as the Mentawai Islands to Western Australia corridor, Tahiti, South America, Europe and Norwegian Sea. So now you can get local wind forecasts for these and more locations with one click. Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu.html

WaveWatch.com - New Surf Forecast Website: Read this teaser about something new on the scene. http://surfermag.com/features/onlineexclusives/ww_qna/

Wave and Weather Models We've updated our set of Wavewatch III and GFS weather models to include the Indian Ocean and South Pacific in preparation for the coming Southern Hemi big wave surf season. Take a look here or click 'Models' on the navigation bar at the top of every page: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu.html

Ghost Tree 3/9/05: Check out the pics of Don Curry and others on Monster Swell #16 in Monterey. http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/ghost_tree.shtml

SURFRIDER Web Site:  The San Mateo County Chapter of SURFRIDER can be found at:  http://surfridersanmateoco.org  Take a minute to visit and find out what's happening to your coast.

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