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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: January 19, 2006 10:06 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 = 4.2 - California & 3.8 - 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 1/16 thru Sun 1/22
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   

Activity Shifts West and Falters
East Pacific Shuts Down


On Thursday (1/19) Northern CA surf was 3-4 times overhead and relatively clean early, but fading fast. South facing breaks were 2-4 ft overhead. Central California surf was 3-5 ft overhead. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were head high to 1 ft overhead at the best spots with most chest to head high. The LA area southward to Orange County was chest to head high with best spots 1 ft overhead. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were head high to 2 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was 2-3 ft overhead. The South Shore was thigh high. The East Shore was chest to head high from windswell.

The last sizeable swell for a while is hitting California with 2 smaller ones queued up for Hawaii that will eventually provide lesser energy trickling towards California. In all the storm pattern has really backed off with no big change forecast. All Pacific storms are to remain backed up just off the Japan and Siberia coasts with little sheared remnants tracking into the far north Gulf of Alaska, torn apart by a bad jetstream pattern aloft. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays (1/19) jetstream was reconfigured into the pattern that it will likely hold for the next few weeks into the future, namely a strong flow off Japan .cgiitting before the dateline with the north branch pushing nearly over Alaska and the south branch diving to the equator. Today the .cgiit point was a bit east of the dateline with winds off Japan at 160 kts, but not covering much area. On the east side of the .cgiit the two branches were only blowing in the 70 kt range, certainly not capable of supporting storm development. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to develop off Japan on Sunday (1/22) with up to 190 kt winds forecast but the .cgiit point is to move west of the dateline limiting it's ability to really get any storm production going at the surface. Beyond 72 hours that trough it to hold it's ground, expanding east a little but not making it beyond the dateline with a .cgiit pattern holding in the east. Winds under the core of the trough in the 170 kt range, and slowly moderating out to next Thursday (1/26).

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs increased it's dominance over the waters of the Northeast Pacific reaching from the dateline east over Hawaii into California and northeast up to nearly Alaska. They were generating brisk easterly trades from Baja just south of Hawaii reaching almost to the Philippines, very symptomatic of La Nina. Remnants of Tuesdays storm (see below) were fading while pushing north up the dateline. Over the next 72 hours the only system of interest is to be a new broad low forming off Japan on Saturday (1/21) tracking northeast and building (more details in the long term forecast). Otherwise high pressure is to rule supreme in the east with faint bits of low pressure and nondescript 30-35 kt southwest winds pushing up into the northern Gulf of Alaska pushing inland over east Alaska .

On Tuesday (1/17) a new system started to develop mid-way between Japan and the dateline. By the evening pressure was down to 980 mbs with a tiny fetch of 50-60 kt winds confirmed in it's south quadrant aimed close to Hawaii. Seas modeled at 22 ft at 36N 162E. By Wednesday AM (1/18) pressure dropped to 972 mbs with winds holding at 50 kts over a small area centered at 38N 170E aimed towards Hawaii down the 310 degree great circle path with 32 ft seas were modeled at 38N 168E. In the evening the storm lifted north directing 45-50 kt winds and 34 ft seas east towards California from 38N 175E aimed up the 296 degree path with additional energy towards Hawaii up the 315 degree path. On Thursday AM (1/19) the storm was fading fast with residual 32 ft seas modeled at 42N 180W aimed east towards California up the 295 degree path. This system will generate decent utility class swell for Hawaii by Saturday (1/21) with period at 17 secs fading fast overnight. Small utility class swell would also trickle east for North and Central California starting Monday (1/23) with period at 17 secs filtering down into Southern CA late.

Also a small system was off Japan Sunday (1/15) with pressure 984 mbs intensifying into the evening with pressure dropping to 972 mbs and 50 kt winds taking aim on Hawaii over a tiny area. This storm peaked early Monday (1/16) with pressure 968 mbs and 50 kt winds confirmed at 42N 169E aimed well at Hawaii down the 314 degree path and seas building to 30 ft over a tiny area at 42N 165E. By nightfall winds were fading fast down to 35-40 kts with seas peaking at 31 ft over a tiny area at 43N 171E, with the storm totally gone by Tuesday AM (30 ft seas fading fast). This will be good for some solid utility class longer period energy pushing into Hawaii late Thursday (1/19) peaking overnight then fading into Friday.

No other swell producing systems forecast.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (1/19) high pressure at 1030 mbs was positioned off the coast ridging into North CA while the faint remnants of Storm #11 pushed into British Columbia. North winds in affect along the entire coast. Those winds to lighten up by Friday but no significant change to the overall pattern forecast until Sunday when the high finally starts to push east into Vancouver Island. After that a light offshore wind pattern to prevail until Thursday (1/26) when the faint remnants of a cutoff low start to brush the coast possibly settling up a south wind flow from Pt Conception northward.

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 the only system of interest is to be a broad storm circulating off the Kuril Islands. On Sunday (1/21) pressure to be 956 mbs with near 60 kts winds forecast, but positioned all in the storms north quadrant aimed back at southern Kamchatka with only a tiny fetch of 60 kt winds in the storms south quadrant aimed east towards Hawaii producing 26 ft seas late. Varying degrees of 50-60 kt west winds to continue early Monday aimed east with most swell energy pushing northeast of the 315 degree path to Hawaii then dissipating on Tuesday. Small long period energy likely to result for Hawaii but this same swell to be cut off by the Aleutians on it's great circle route to the US West Coast.

The models also depict some form of cut-off low developing northeast of Hawaii on Monday (1/23) pushing 30-35 kt winds south in-between Hawaii and California, then fading out through Wednesday. Nothing else of interest suggested.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

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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