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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: March 28, 2006 6:19 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 = 1.7 - 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 3/27 thru Sun 4/2
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   

Gulf Gales Continue
Small South Pacific Energy Pushing North


On Tuesday (3/28) Northern CA surf was head high and blown out under brisk south wind. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high and blown out. Central California surf was waist high and blown out. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were basically flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was near flat. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high with a few bigger sets. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was thigh high.

Northern CA to fair best over the coming days from a pure swell perspective, though wind to be an issue. Windswell from a series of moderate to weak gales passing through the Gulf of Alaska to pass over the north most California coast though making for changeable conditions and alot of residual lump. Further south less energy to be present, but increased odds for cleaner conditions. Hawaii to be well off the swell track, with only bit's and pieces of short period windswell expected. But still of more interest to the South Shore and Southern California is a series of strong gales that pushed through the South Pacific last weekend. They will provide a small bit of early season south swell to the Islands by the weekend and Southern CA early next week. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream (3/28) continued as weak as in days previous. The .cgiit pattern remained in effect with .cgiit point just off Japan. The southern branch flowed weakly over Hawaii then east into Southern Baja. The northern branch pushed up the Kuril Island chain to the Aleutians, then east over the dateline dipping southeast through the Gulf of Alaska and pushing into the mainland near San Francisco. Winds were starting to build off the Kuril's with pockets to 140 kts pushing to nearly the dateline. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (3/31) the same configuration is to hold but with winds 150-160 kts along most of the western half of the jet pushing into the Gulf of Alaska. This bodes better for some form of surface level gale development especially just off the Japan coast and in the northwestern Gulf of Alaska. Beyond 72 hours this more energized jetstream flow is to continue into Sunday (4/2) though focused mostly in the Gulf of Alaska where a solid trough with 140 kt winds flowing under it is to be situated. But by Tuesday (4/4) a steady degradation of the entire jetstream is to start settling in with no support for surface level gale development suggested then or in the days beyond.

At the surface on Tuesday (3/28) a big strong high pressure system dominated the North Pacific situated just east of the dateline ridging south to a point just west of Hawaii, north into the Bering Sea and east half way between Hawaii and California. Two weak lows were tracking north, one over Japan and the other over Kamchatka, following the jetstream flow. A weak 1000 mb low (not even a gale) was off San Francisco pushing inland with minimal 25 kt northwest winds over outer waters pushing some windswell towards the North and central CA coasts. A new 1004 mb low was trying to drop from the Bering Sea into the Gulf of Alaska where the Aleutians join Alaska.

Over the next 72 hours mult.cgie weather systems are to be in progress, all weak.

The most recent low off California is to fade on Wednesday. It formed on Monday (3/27) at 996 mbs just off the California coast producing 25-30 kt northwest winds aimed from San Francisco southward but started to impact the coast late. The low pushed inland through the day Tuesday with winds not even reaching gale force, at 20-25 kts from the southwest along moving much of the coast. 24 ft seas with a max period of 13 secs were reported at buoy 46006 for 4-5 hours early Tuesday then faded. Expect seas of 12 ft @ 12-13 secs and swell 9-10 ft @ 12-13 secs (10 ft faces) mid-day Wednesday (3/29) in North CA with lesser size swell at 8.3 ft @ 12 secs (9 ft faces) pushing into Central CA later than day and into early Thursday. Swell 3.8 ft @ 12 secs (4.0-4.5 ft) expected for exposed breaks in South CA. Nothing for Hawaii to result from this one.

A second gale started forming in the northwestern Gulf on Tuesday as well, expected to sink southeast and produce 30-35 kts kts winds aimed from Washington south to Pt Conception through early Thursday. 25 ft seas forecast starting late Tuesday holding into early Thursday as well. The remnants of this low to team up with a cutoff low tracking east from Hawaii with the pair pushing over California on Friday, creating more unsettled weather and junky conditions for California, and nothing aimed at Hawaii.

A broad 988 mb low was starting to develop Tuesday in the Sea of Japan but is to remain landlocked there, stationary through Thursday before trying to make a eastward assault into the Western Pacific. No swell producing fetch suggested initially though.

A small cutoff low was north of Hawaii on Tuesday (3/28) generating 25-30 kt east winds not aimed well at all at the Islands to the south. This to fade through Thursday as high pressure to the north gets a better foothold in the area. Maybe some northeast winds at 25 kts to hold and blow some short period windswell towards the Islands on Thursday before the fetch degrades. Small short period northeasterly windswell to result starting Thursday for north and east shores continuing into Saturday.

No other swell sources forecast.

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (3/28) the models suggest yet more unfavorable weather for the California coast. First Wednesday residuals from the previous days gale to push onshore bringing southwest winds from Pt Conception northward. A break and then another is forecast coming onshore Friday bringing 20-25 kts southerly winds from Pt Conception pushing into South CA Saturday. Yet another to move in Sunday-Tuesday affecting North and Central CA but strong high pressure is to be right behind, brining brisk northwest winds for the entire coast during and right beyond that.

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


South Pacific

This area has been reasonably active over the past few days with a little more forecast. Here's the details:

On Wednesday (3/22) a 972 mbs low tracked east under New Zealand producing 40-45 kt southwest winds and 30 ft seas (modeled Wed AM at 58S 178E) for 12 hours then faded rapidly. This ought to be good for some small swell pushing into the Hawaiian Islands starting Thursday (3/30) holding into Friday with swell 1.6 ft @ 14-16 secs (2.0-2.5 ft faces pushing 3 ft at top spots).

A second and best low of the series started Friday (3/25) under New Zealand at 968 mbs with 35-40 kts winds pushing northeast. Seas reached 29 ft at 18Z at 60S 175W and holding. Late Saturday the gale surged a bit with winds up to 45 kts at 53S 155W aimed well to the northeast, but was starting to fade fast on Sunday but not before seas built to 32 ft late Saturday at 53S 152W holding in the 30 ft range through 18Z Sunday at 50S 142W, then fading out. Decent (rideable) swell is expected from this one targeting Hawaii, Tahiti and California. Swell to hit Hawaii Sunday (4/1) with swell 2.3 ft @ 17 (3.4-4.0 ft faces) building to 3 ft @ 15 secs by late Monday (4.0-4.5 ft faces).

Yet a third low started Sunday (3/26) off the edge of the well receded ice of the Ross Ice Shelf. Winds were initially only 35 kts but reached 45-50 kts Monday aimed northeast towards Hawaii and California with seas building to 30 late. Winds dropped some Tuesday to 40 kts but are to build again through Wednesday as the low tracks east and out of the California swell window late. Seas of barely 30 ft were modeled early Tuesday (3/28) aimed due east and expected to fade then rebuild to the 30-32 ft range Wednesday, but outside the California swell window. Some small background swell to be the likely result for HAwaii and California, though South America could see much more size.

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 systems of interest are projected. The first is a low that's to be simmering over Japan. It's to finally push east into the West Pacific on Friday (3/31) and start developing Saturday with a fetch of 40-45 kt northwest winds aimed a bit south of Hawaii but wrapping more into the lows south quadrant taking better aim on the Islands late. 28-30 ft seas projected over a broad area pushing east through early Sunday (4/2) provide some hope for decent 15-17 sec swell for Hawaii mid-next week if all develops as forecast.

Also another gale is forecast in the Northern Gulf of Alaska Saturday (4/1) generating a moderate 30 to near 40 kt fetch aimed well at the Pacific Northwest through Sunday. 26 ft seas forecast off Washington on Sunday pushing towards Southern Oregon and setting up more windswell for the PAcific Northwest into California Mon/Tues of next week. No energy tracking towards Hawaii though.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours yet another storm is forecast in the deep South Pacific on Saturday (4/1) producing a solid fetch of 40-45 kts south winds 30-34 ft seas aimed north towards South CA and Central America. This system to be well east of the Hawaiian swell window.

Yet a stronger one to follow in the exact same area on Sunday (4/2) with 45-50 kt winds and 36 ft seas before building more but tracking outside the CA swell window. This system to be well east of the Hawaiian swell window though South America could do well.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

New Content - QuikCAST's and Satellite Altimetry: Stormsurf has been busy this winter putting some new things together. First up is two new QuikCAST's for the Northeast US Coast, one for Cape Hatteras-to-Virginia Beach and another for New Jersey-to-New York. Check them out Here
Also we now provide Jason-1 Altimetry data overlaid on our Wavewatch III wave models. Take a look Here

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

Mavericks Surf Contest and Stormsurf
- Science hangs 10 at Surf Contest: CNET - Read it Here
- Pillar Point Unique Conditions swell Mavericks Monsters: Rough seabed, winds and seas currents to create California biggest surfing challenge; San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here
- Tyler Smith's Quest: Chasing the Moby Dick of the Surfing World: San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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