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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: March 18, 2007 5:36 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
Click Here to Visit Killer Dana!
Swell Potential Rating = 3.0 - 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 3/19 thru Sun 3/25
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   

Dateline Swell - Gulf Gales
Long Term Outlook Quiet


On Sunday (3/18) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and an ugly onshore mess. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high range with maybe some chest high sets. Central California surf was near head high and a little bit soft. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh to waist flat, though a few breaks maybe had a chest high peak. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high pushing chest high at the best spots down south. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was double overhead and on the way up. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was flat.

North/Central California was getting the last dribbles from Storm #18 with poor local conditions. Southern California was getting swell from Storm #18 mixed with tiny bit's of southern hemi background swell. Hawaii was getting solid utility class or slightly more energy from a storm that was over the dateline on Thurs/Fri. Make the most of it cause it isn't getting any better. Swell from the dateline low is to push east into California in the days ahead while a series of bigger but lesser period swells follow generated by gales that are to push from the dateline through the Gulf of Alaska into the Pacific Northwest providing surf for both Hawaii and California. This looks to be the last blast for the North Pacific for a while so make the most of it. See details below...



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

North Pacific

Sundays jetstream charts (3/15) almost looked something like normal with a a consolidated flow pushing over Japan out to almost the dateline with winds 170 kts then .cgiitting, but not horribly so. Reasonable support for storm development off the Kuril Islands. The northern branch then tracked a bit northeast almost to the Aleutians then dipped into a little trough situated in the Gulf of Alaska with winds 130 kts, providing some support for gale development at the oceans surface. The southern branch continued on east from the .cgiit point moving over Hawaii into Baja. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (3/21) an amazing decent flow is to materialize with one solid consolidated river of winds pushing from Japan into British Columbia with winds anywhere from 150-180 kts over the entire length of the North Pacific. A little .cgiit is indicated at the point where the jetstream passes just north of Hawaii, tracking from there into Baja, but it's to be inconsequential. Good support for gale development from Japan to the Gulf, though without any defined troughs it's doubtful a real organized storm could evolve. Interesting how this is occurring in sync with the peak of the active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation too. Beyond 72 hours energy level to start steadily dropping off through a reasonably consolidated flow to persist through Friday with winds 160 kts north of Hawaii, then fading quickly while a .cgiit flow looks to be taking shape over Japan. This looks like the beginning of the end, though that's more of a guess than anything concrete.

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs was positioned 1300 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii riding east into Central CA and north almost to the Aleutians. It was generating brisk trades over the Hawaiian Islands and a moderate northerly flow down the California coast. Low pressure at 1000 mbs was in the Central Gulf of Alaska generating maybe 30 kts northwest winds aimed towards California, but not getting any real traction on the oceans surface just yet. A second broad co.cgiex low was trying to organize off the Kuril Islands but was not generated any fetch aimed at our forecast locations yet. By Monday the Gulf low to build to 996 mbs with winds up to maybe 35 kts taking aim on California from 43N 140-145W and pushing 25 degrees south of the 296-300 degree paths towards NCal. Seas building to 20 ft at 45N 142W pushing south to 43N 139W coming down the 300 degree path toward North CA and Oregon. Some form of 11-13 sec period windswell to result in North CA late Tuesday (2/20) into Wednesday but buried in local chop and mixed with dateline swell (see below). See QuikCAST's for details.

On Tuesday (3/20) the broad gale forecast in the West Pacific is to .cgiit in two with the first pulse pushing into the Western Gulf of Alaska generating a small fetch of 35 kt winds tracking east through the day. Up to 30 ft seas expected, but most of that to be generated by southwesterly winds associated with the cold front preceding the gale and pushing into Alaska. Still some form of 13 sec period energy to likely be pushing towards California down the 305-308 paths relative to North CA but buried in a bunch of chop occurring there upon arrival.

Also on Tuesday the second half of the West Pacific gale is to still be simmering just west of the dateline generating some form of diffuse 30 kt westerly winds aimed mid-way between Hawaii and California producing 20 ft seas, but a long ways away from the latter. It's to get marginally better organized Wednesday (3/21) with a more consolidated fetch of 30-35 kt northwest winds and 20 ft seas targeting Hawaii down the 315 degree path, slipping east Thursday to the dateline aimed a bit east of the 320 degree path to Hawaii and better up the 295 degree path to California with seas building to 25 ft. More of the same forecast Friday with the fetch still 30-35 kts and seas 23 ft moving to a point north of Hawaii aimed entirely down the 290-295 degree path to NCal (295-300 degrees SCal), slowly fading our Saturday with seas dropping from 20 ft then gone Sunday (3/25). Possible utility swell for Hawaii starting late Friday holding through the weekend and into California starting Friday (3/23) as well and holding through the weekend.


Dateline Gale
A storm formed Wednesday evening (3/14) with winds confirmed at 50 kts over a tiny area at 39N 170E aimed well at Hawaii down the 310 degree path but 40 degrees south of the 294 degree path to California. On Thursday AM (3/14) much the same was occurring with pressure 984 mbs and the storm making no eastward progress. Seas had built to 29 ft at the same location. In the evening pressure was down to 980 mbs with 40-45 kt winds confirmed at 39N 175E aimed 20 degrees east of the 312 degree path to Hawaii and 25 degrees south of the 293 degree path to California. Seas were up to 36 ft at 39N 174E. By Friday (3/16) the gale held it's position with 45-50 kts west winds continuing at roughly the same.cgiace and on the same headings with seas 32 ft at 40N 177E. But by evening it had totally faded out. Residual seas were down to 30 ft @ 39N 178E.

Swell to be radiating towards both Hawaii and California, but favoring Hawaii due to it's closer proximity and better aim. Swell to arriving on the North Shore late Saturday evening (3/17) building up to 8.2 ft @ 16 secs (12-14 ft faces) mid-day Sunday from 310-315 degrees fading some Monday as period drops to 14-15 secs. Swell to push into Northern CA Tuesday (3/20) with period 18 secs and size building late in the day to 4 ft @ 16 secs (6 ft faces) from 292-295 degrees. Swell 4.7 ft @ 14 secs Wednesday (3/21) with 6.0-6.5 ft faces but buried in local chop and secondary northwest windswell from the Gulf of Alaska. Swell also to push into Southern CA at 2 ft @ 15-16 sec on Wednesday (3 ft faces) from 297-302 degrees.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (3/18) high pressure at 1028 mbs was north of Hawaii trying to ridge into Central CA generating a bit of northwesterly winds down the coast, while low pressure was trying to organize off Oregon. The low to push inland late Monday to our north while the high starts surging east while building. Light winds tending towards the south for North CA and light everywhere else. Maybe a little bit of rain for North CA Tuesday AM (3/20) in association with the front from the Oregon low, then high pressure to take control in a big way with northwest winds 20 kts in the afternoon wrapping even into South CA, pushing 25-30 kts Wednesday even over the Channel Islands. Southern CA to get a reprieve Thursday but the winds to persist up north, though with less intensity Thursday into Friday. A calmer pattern forecast for the weekend all locations up and down the state with surf conditions improving.


South Pacific

A gale developed south of Tahiti Monday (3/12) at 53S 158W tracking east while producing 27 ft seas spraying north towards the Islands for a short period before moving east of that swell window and fading. This system reorganized Wednesday (3/14) on the southern edge of the California swell window at 48N 125W generating 32 ft seas late targeting Southern CA and all locations south of there before pushing east of the swell window and dissipating early Thursday (3/15). Small to moderate southern hemi swell action especially for Southern CA from 180-185 degrees expected starting late Tuesday (3/20) peaking Wednesday with swell 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.5 ft faces) from 200 degrees mixed with energy from 185 degrees.


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 (actually by the weekend) a total shutdown of the North Pacific is forecast with no swell producing systems expected as the MJO goes inactive and the jetstream falls apart.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a rather slack pattern is forecast until Sunday (3/25) when a small but real storm is forecast to push under New Zealand generating up to 40 ft seas aimed a bit more east than north. Possible swell generation potential for both Hawaii and California, but this is a definite reach for the models so we'll discount it for now.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Come celebrate Jeff Clark's 50th birthday at the Mavericks Surfshop. Saturday 3/24 from 2-7 PM at 151 Harvard Ave, Princeton CA. 4 bands and lot's more. See you there.

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: Click on 'Mavericks Forecaster'

Surf Video Clips at - 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:

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:

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer 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! .xml

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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