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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: March 12, 2006 3:19 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 = 3.5 - California & 1.0 - 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 3/13 thru Sun 3/19
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   

Weak Gale Pattern Continues for Mainland
Small Swell From Dateline for Hawaii


On Sunday (3/12) Northern CA surf was 8-10 ft on the face at the right breaks. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were 2-3 ft overhead on the bigger sets and windblown. Central California surf was 2-3 ft overhead but likely bigger at 'other' spots with reasonably clean conditions. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were chest to head high at the best breaks but most were waist high or less. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with best breaks with maybe chest high sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were head high to maybe 1 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high. The South Shore was head high. The East Shore was chest to head high.

South swell was hitting Hawaii's South Shore providing decent moderate sized surf. Hard to believe since it's early March, but take what you can get, eh? A minimal pulse was hitting the North Shore but smaller than the South Shore. Meanwhile the buoys were still solid with swell from a gale that was off the California coast Friday, but most energy was passing sideways down the coast without working it's way into the shore. A big tease with no follow-through. A small little swell is expected for Hawaii's North Shore early this week, but of most interest are two small gales forecast to form off Oregon tracking into the mainland providing the opportunity for more somewhat raw but sizeable proto-swell (too big and energetic for windswell but too close to unwrap and be considered real swell). Still the overall pattern looks to be tapering off so get whatever you can. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Sundays jetstream (3/12) was so disorganized it didn't even qualify to be considered .cgiit. Not sure how to classify it. One trough was sweeping into Southern California with no energy over exposed waters of the Pacific, but notable in that it was driving cold air down the coast there. Another trough was pushing into the Gulf of Alaska with a small pocket of 150 kt winds under it, providing the weakest hint of an opportunity to support surface level gale development. Otherwise no energy of interest was present. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (3/16) the Gulf trough to hold in some fashion but with steadily diminishing winds flowing under it as it pushes slowly east through the Gulf and eventually into Canada and down the California coast by Friday (3/17). Winds averaging about 110 kts under the trough, which isn't much. Some potential for surface level gale development in association with this trough. Beyond 72 hours another trough is forecast for the Gulf starting Saturday (3/18) building some on Sunday with a pocket of 130 kt energy forecast under the trough, possibly providing yet another gale in the Gulf. All this energy looks best suited to provide gale activity focused on the Pacific Northwest. There are no signs of any support for gale development in the West Pacific through the entire week.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii stretched in a west-to-east fashion from the dateline to Baja Mexico. A gale was approaching the dateline from off Japan with 30 kt winds circulating around it, but is to quickly fade over the next 24 hours before any seas of interest are generated. Also a 984 mb gale was in the Bering Sea with energy reaching southeast in to the Gulf of Alaska. A weak gradient was in.cgiace between this portion of the Bering Sea gale and the Hawaiian high pressure system generating 25-30 kt northwest winds aimed at the Pacific Northwest. This is an area of interest. No other swell sources were suggested.

A gale over the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians on Friday/Saturday (3/11) generated some 30-35 kt northwest winds and 22 ft seas pushing a bit east of Hawaii but close enough to generate some small swell. This to arrive early Tuesday (3/14) with swell 4 ft @ 12 secs early and fading through the day.

Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (3/15) the new fetch in the Gulf of Alaska is to start developing Monday with pressure down to 992 mbs and 35-40 kt winds developing in it's southwest sector positioned 900 nmiles off the Oregon coast building to 40-45 kts late. This is to be well outside the swell window for Hawaii. Seas forecast to 28 ft at 40N 138W targeting California from Pt Arena southward but in too close a proximity to the coast to be ideal. Unfortunately this low is to push into the Oregon coast on Tuesday with fetch dissipating. Raw swell the likely result starting late Tuesday peaking before sunrise Wednesday (North CA) with swell 14 ft @ 14 secs and 11.5 ft @ 14 secs at Point Conception Wednesday AM.

No other swell sources forecast.

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (3/12) the models suggest southerly winds along the California coast North of Pt Conception Monday in association with a building gale offshore, continuing in to Tuesday. A break expected Wednesday with south winds back in control Thursday as the next gael sets up off the coast. Northwest winds build in Friday as high pressure starts to exert it's influence through Saturday. Southern California to remain relatively unaffected until the weekend once high pressure takes over, and northwest winds to rake the coast.

The detailed 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 a small low is forecast off Japan late Wednesday (3/15) tracking quickly northeast moving over and north of the Aleutians near the dateline by Thursday AM. A fleeting tiny fetch of 35-40 kt winds is forecast in it's south quadrant aimed somewhat towards Hawaii, generating only 18 ft seas. Little hope for any real swell to result here.

Also another 992 mb low is to develop just off the North CA/Oregon boarder on Thursday (3/16) producing 35-40 kts northwest winds aimed down the coast before dissipating Friday morning as it moves inland over Washington. Perhaps some 25 ft seas to result late Thursday pushing a very steep north swell down the North/Central CA coast for the weekend.

Otherwise 2 high pressure centers to retain control of the balance of the North Pacific, one north of Hawaii at 1024 mbs and the second over the dateline at 1028 mbs. There's a hint of yet a another low developing in the Gulf of Alaska on Sunday (3/19) at 1000 mbs possibly setting up swell producing fetch in the days beyond, but it's way too early to know with any certainty.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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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:

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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