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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: January 10, 2006 9:24 PM
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 = 3.9 - California & 3.0 - 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 1/9 thru Sun 1/15
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   

Calm Pattern Short-Term
Gulf of Alaska to Activate


On Tuesday (1/10) Northern CA surf was back up with waves double overhead with sets a foot or two more and clean conditions. South facing breaks were 2-3 ft overhead with bigger sets. Central California surf was 1-3 ft overhead and on the increase. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist to chest high up north but only waist high at the better southern breaks with most near flat. The LA area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was chest to head high with rare sets 1 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was head high from windswell.

As expected another solid swell has hit North California peaking late morning and is now working it's way down the coast. This from a small but solid storm that was in the Gulf of Alaska over the weekend. Size on the decline in the north. In Hawaii brisk trades are in effect with no solid swell producing systems on the charts, but not flat either with a continuation of moderate utility class winter surf. Overall the swell machine to continue active, with the only really noteworthy system forecast for the western Gulf of Alaska tracking east during the weekend. See details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Tuesdays (1/10) jetstream was flowing steady off Japan with pockets to 160 kts tracking solidly northeast to a point well north of Hawaii then pushing inland over the Pacific Northwest but with far less energy (90 kts). No troughs or ridges of interest indicated. This was a pretty standard winter pattern. Over the next 72 hours the main core of energy is to track northeast with two troughs setting up, one in the Gulf of Alaska on Wednesday (1/11) north of Hawaii with a brief burst of 160 kt winds flowing into it Thursday suggesting support for a storm at the surface there. By Friday (1/13) this trough to a.cgiify more with 170 kt winds flowing into it positioned just off the North California coast pushing inland on Saturday. The second trough to set up off Japan early Thursday pushing east with 160 kt winds flowing under it pushing pretty much non-stop to the east through the weekend. This one also looks capable of supporting surface level storm development. Beyond 72 hours into early next the whole jet is to become very weak and ill defined with max winds 120 kts (or less). Looks like the storm pattern will disintegrate.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs stretched from Hawaii east into North California, the most we've seen in weeks. Generic weak low pressure filled the Gulf of Alaska back to the dateline with a broad area of 25-35 kt west winds setting up on the boundary between the Gulf low and high pressure to the south. 16 ft seas were being generated aimed best at North California up into the Pacific Northwest, with short period windswell the expected result a day or so out. On Wednesday (1/11) a small 996 mb low is expected to be developing mid-way between North Japan and the dateline tracking northeast with a small area of 45-50 kt winds aimed towards Hawaii a little east of the 305-313 great circle paths with seas building to near 30 ft late in the evening and 32 ft into Thursday AM, aimed well enough to have decent utility class swell generation potential for Hawaii but way too far away to be of interest for California. This system to reach the Aleutian Islands by Friday (1/13) with additional energy feeding into it from the southwest, possibly resulting in something of interest long term.

Also a diffuse 996 mb low to be setting up off California on Thursday (1/12) producing 35-40 kt winds and 20 ft seas aimed a bit south of the state then lifting north Friday into Saturday with 40 kt fetch producing a broad area of 20-22 ft seas aimed right at the coast but in very close proximity, likely generating a large lumpy and unrefined windswell/utility class swell. Not good boating weather offshore. This system to move onshore late Saturday over British Columbia.


Next Pulse - Hitting NCal Tuesday (1/10)
On Friday evening (1/6) a new low organized with pressure dropping to 968 mbs with 55 kt winds in it's south quadrant at 46N 172W aimed generally east towards California up the 300 degree great circle route. This continued through Saturday night heading east with wind aimed down the 303 degree route to CA. Seas building to 32 ft. This storm started to wind down through the day Sunday as it moved into the Central Gulf of Alaska with winds down to 35 kts late. Seas were modeled up to 38 ft in the morning though right before the storm collapsed. Those seas were located at 49N 152W aimed decently down the 304-308 degree path to North California. This storm produced decent swell pushing south to California from a rather northerly track, and is currently hitting buoy 46006 (Monday AM 1/9) with pure swell there 13-15 ft @ 17.2 secs. This should provide significant class swell for exposed breaks at 8-9 ft @ 17 secs (13-15 ft faces).


Storm #11
Also on Saturday (1/7) another storm fired up off Japan with pressure down to 972 mbs in the evening with winds confirmed at 55-60 kts at 37N 168E aimed east towards Hawaii up the 299 degree path but south of any route to California. Seas modeled to 30 ft at 37N 158E. On Sunday (1/8) pressure rose to 980 mbs as the storm crosses the dateline with winds 45-50 kts early and less (40 kts late) aimed 25-30 degrees east of the 315 degree path to Hawaii but right up the 295 degree path to California, though still a long ways away. Seas were 30-32 ft at 39N 171E by evening but were confirmed by the Jason-1 satellite at 37-38 ft. By Monday AM (1/9) pressure was up to 992 mbs with 40-45 kt wind remaining at 42N 180W aimed well east of targets in Hawaii but aimed right at California up the 292 degree path. In the AM 30 ft seas were modeled at 42N 178E holding into the evening. This storm continued east on Tuesday (1/10) but was fading fast with no real swell generating fetch expected to continue.

This was a relatively long lasting and reasonably strong storm, though small in total areal coverage - Basically a 'normal' winter storm. A large utility class swell/minimal significant class swell is expected for both Hawaii (shorter period but more a.cgiitude) and California (longer period but less a.cgiitude and likely buried in local windswell when it hits).

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (1/10) high pressure at 1028 mbs was in control of waters midway between California and Hawaii ridging up to the North CA coast. A weak front was dragging south with south winds moving into the northern half of the state but that to be short lived if not gone by the time you read this. Otherwise some flavor of generally light north winds expected up to Friday (1/13) when a vigorous local low/front pushes down the coast including Southern CA. But that south wind event is to be short-lived with west to northwest winds moving back in by mid-day Saturday. The models now suggest another front and associated south winds to be pushing over the state Tuesday (1/17) with perhaps another directly behind.

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


South Pacific

No swell producing fetch forecast 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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours two more smallish systems are on the charts. The first storm is to be over the dateline and is really a resurgence of a storm already present there. It's to pick up some more energy on Friday (1/13) with pressure 976 mbs with 45 kt winds in it's west quadrant aimed right at Hawaii. Seas building. By Saturday this system to continue with 45-50 kts winds and 32 ft seas taking aim midway between Hawaii and California then building more on Sunday with pressure down to 968 mbs and winds up to 50 kts aimed right at North CA down the 297-298 degree great circle path with up to 43 ft seas forecast in the Gulf early Monday (1/16) before this storm starts fading Tuesday. Good potential for Hawaii initially with more size potential for California.

Another storm is forecast pushing east off Japan on Sunday (1/15) reaching the dateline Monday night and fading. Most of this systems energy will be stolen by the larger storm preceding it.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

Stormsurf and the Mavericks Surf Contest: KRON4 weatherman Mark Tamayo came out to interview Stormsurf and it's role in the 2006 Mavericks Surf Contest. Check it out (about 1/3 way down the page) on the KRON4 website:

MV Indies Trader Returns to Sumatra
Indies Trader Marine Adve
ntures is proud to announce that after seven incredibly successful years circumnavigating the globe on Quiksilver's "Crossing" expedition - the MV Indies Trader is returning to its roots in Sumatra.
More info here

El Nino Forecast Updated: The Stormsurf El Nino forecast was updated on 12/30/05. Check out all the latest details concerning El Nino and it's impact on the winter surf season. Details here

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:

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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