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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: February 13, 2007 8:32 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 = 4.0 - 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 2/12 thru Sun 2/18
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   

Swell #17 Heading Towards Hawaii
Lesser Energy Expected for California


On Tuesday (2/13) Northern CA surf was head high clean but mixed up. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high. Central California surf was shoulder to head high. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was waist to maybe chest high and warbled. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high pushing chest high on the sets at the best spots. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high to chest high with rare head high sets and windy. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high, maybe a little more on the sets. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was thigh high.

North California was getting westerly windswell but not much. Southern California was getting the last little bit's of Swell #16, but only tiny and fading. Hawaii was in between swells, but the calm won't last for long. The North Pacific currently has one more storm in it, Storm #17 currently pushing over the dateline. This one is a bit stronger than previous ones, but still following a similar track to all before it, namely making it to the dateline then rapidly dying out. This one ought to provide Hawaii with a burst of significant class swell with exposed breaks in California getting large utility class surf. A weak shortlived system is forecast late this week in the Gulf of Alaska, but most energy to be aimed at the Pacific Northwest assuming it even forms. After that a marked slowdown suggested with the old familiar .cgiit jetstream flow forecast to return. See details below...



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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (2/13) depicted a relatively strong consolidated flow of wind energy tracking off Japan dipping into a weak trough on the dateline with winds 1809-190 kts there then pushing to a point 900 nmiles north of Kauai. East of there the jetstream .cgiit solidly with the north branch continuing northeast then dipping inland over Central CA while the southern branch tracked southeast almost over Hawaii then pushed east into Central Baja. Good support for surface level storm development on the dateline but nothing in other locations. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (2/16) the beginning of the end is suggested with the existing trough pushing east to a point north of Hawaii late Wednesday while energy levels fade quickly over the length of the jet to the 130 kt range. A bit of a .cgiit to start developing over the dateline while the existing .cgiit off the mainland continues building. A decent trough to push into the Gulf of Alaska Friday, but winds levels to be moderate (at best) providing the only area supportive of gale development at the oceans surface. Beyond 72 hours on Saturday (2/17) a pronounced single .cgiit to develop extending from the dateline into the mainland with a ridge in the northern branch pushing north of the Aleutians then diving south into a trough in the Gulf, then back north into northern Canada. This is not supportive of any sort of storm development. No significant change forecast through mid-next week without even a cohesive flow pushing off Japan. Nothing favorable for storm development suggested.

At the surface today low pressure associated with Storm #17 was over the dateline at 976 mbs (details below) embedded in the southern flank of a broader low over the dateline in the Bering Sea while high pressure at 1028 mbs was lodged mid-way between Hawaii and Cape Mendocino, CA. This high was generating trades over the Islands and a northerly flow pushing down the California coast while Storm #17 was generating swell producing fetch aimed at Hawaii and California. No other swell producing fetch was indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (2/16) the remnants of Storm #17 to try and reorganize in the Gulf of Alaska late Friday possible pushing a small fetch of 40-45 kt winds towards North CA and the Pacific Northwest through Saturday AM, then fading fast while pushing inland over North Canada. Seas to 30 ft suggested for 12-18 hours, possibly generating a small pulse of swell targeting the aforementioned locations. Otherwise a broad low to track off Japan Thursday (2/15) generating 40-45 kts winds aimed a bit south of Hawaii late fading fast Friday while the core of the low heads northeast towards the Bering Sea and effectively gone by Saturday AM. A small area of 30 ft seas forecast in the vicinity of 155E-165E 35N through the day Friday (2/16) aimed at Hawaii down the 298 degree great circle path but well off any track to California. Possible utility swell for the Islands.


Storm #17
A new moderate storm developed off Japan on Sunday AM. Pressure was 980 mbs with 45-50 kts winds confirmed in it's southeast sector at 38N 153E aimed a bit south of the 305 degree great circle route to Hawaii and well off any path to the mainland. By evening it was pushing east with a moderate area of 50-55 kt west winds were confirmed in it's south quadrant at 40N 158E aimed right at Hawaii down the 307 degree path and 40 degrees south of the 298 degree path to NCal (303 SCal). Seas modeled to 29 ft at 39N 158E.

By Monday AM (2/12) pressure was down to 976 mbs with 50-55kt kt west winds confirmed at 38N 165E aimed right at Hawaii down the 306 degree path and 30 degrees south of the the 297 degree path to NCal (302 SCal). Seas were modeled up to 37 ft at 38N 165E. In the evening things started settling down with a broad area of 45 kts winds at 36N 172E aimed again right at Hawaii down the 310 path and 25 degrees south of the 295 degree path to NCal (300 SCal). Seas were peaking out west of the dateline at 42 ft at 38N 170E, a decent distance from Hawaii and a very long ways from the mainland.

By Tuesday AM (2/13) 40 kt winds were trying to hang on at 37N 178E aimed due east or 15 degrees east of the 312 degree path to Hawaii and about right up the 290 degree path to NCal (295 SCal). 42 ft seas were modeled at 37N 178E. By nightfall only a small area of 35-40 kt winds forecast left pushing over the dateline at 38N 175W with pressure 980 mbs and the system nearly gone. 37 ft seas forecast at 38N 173W, mostly from previous days fetch.

Wednesday AM (2/14) a small area of 35 kt west winds to be hanging on at 42N 165W aimed right up the 292 degree path to NCal (297 SCal) with residual seas of 32 ft forecast at 40N 168W. No fetch to be left in the evening with residuals 29 ft seas forecast at 43N 160W and decaying.

In all this was a reasonably potent storm early in it's life with decent duration and solid energy aimed towards Hawaii. Given it's relative close proximity to the Islands (1263-2113 nmiles), significant class swell seems likely. The mainland was very far away through (1717-3372 nmiles) at best, meaning there will be lot's of decay and only large utility class energy, and that assumes this one lives out the remainder of it's life as forecast (a likely outcome).

Hawaii: Expect long period energy in the 23 sec range to start hitting the Islands late Wednesday (2/14) evening but small, then getting more pronounced as period drops to the 20 sec range Thursday (2/15) about 4 AM HST. Swell to continue coming up during the morning with consistency on the increase, peaking between noon and 4 PM with swell 9.5-10.5 ft @ 17-18 secs (16-19 ft faces). Good organization. Period dropping to the 14 secs range in the early hours of Friday with size heading down. Swell Direction: 307-324 degrees.

North CA: Expect swell arrival early Friday (2/16) before sunrise with period 23 secs and size tiny. Size slowly creeping up with inconsistent sets through the day and period dropping to 20 secs at sunset. Swell possibly 2.5-3.0 ft @ 20 secs (5-6 ft faces and inconsistent). Period to continue dropping with size trickling up, peaking Saturday (2/17) from sunrise to noon at 5.8-6.8 ft @ 17-18 secs (10-11 ft faces - this might be a bit optimistic). Swell slowly heading down by late afternoon with 14-15 secs energy left Sunday AM. Possible more energy from the Gulf of Alaska building in overtop of this, but it's way to early to presume this is going to be the case. Swell Direction: 288-292 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late Friday (2/16) just past sunset with period 23 secs and size tiny. Size slowly creeping up overnight with period dropping to 20 secs at sunrise Saturday. Swell possibly 1.5 ft @ 20 secs (2.5-3.0 ft faces and inconsistent). Period to continue dropping with size trickling up through the day, peaking just past sunset and into the evening with swell 2.7-3.3 ft @ 17-18 secs (4.5-6.0 ft faces) with exposed best breaks to 3.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (6.0-6.5 ft faces through this might be a bit optimistic). Swell slowly heading down overnight with 15 secs energy left Sunday AM. Possible more energy from the Gulf of Alaska building in overtop of this, but it's way to early to presume this is going to be the case. Swell Direction: 294-297 degrees


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (2/13) high pressure at 1032 mbs was 750 nmiles west of San Diego ridging towards the coast generating a moderate northwest flow over exposed waters of the state including Southern CA. Much the same is forecast Wednesday through Friday as the high pushes northeast and into Oregon with winds slowly clocking more to the north, through not as strong (in the 15 kt range and even less in Southern CA) then finally breaking down on Saturday (2/17) with a light flow forecast all locations. That to be short lived though as theoretically a little low is supposed to develop off Oregon Sunday and just sit there spitting pockets of energy towards the California coast bringing southerly winds and rain Sunday and beyond through at least Tuesday of next week (including Southern CA).


South Pacific

t 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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no real swell producing fetch is indicated with the generalized storm track pushing up the Kuril Islands on a direct path to the Bering Sea while high pressure builds over the greater Pacific. One low is to push off Japan Sunday (2/18) only to remain mostly landlocked tracking northeast up the Kuril's centered over Kamchatka late Monday with no swell generating fetch indicated. A broad high pressure system to be building over the dateline at 1028 mbs closing the Aleutian Storm Corridor while drifting east up to 1032 mbs Tuesday (2/20). The future does not look bright.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

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.

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:

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