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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: April 6, 2006 10:19 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 = 1.9 - California & 2.0 - 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 4/3 thru Sun 4/9
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   

More Japan Energy Pushing East
Strong Tasman Sea Storm Forecast


On Thursday (4/6) Northern CA surf was 1-2 ft overhead and reasonably clean early. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were head high with sets 2 ft over at exposed spots. Central California surf was chest to head high with sets 1 ft overhead. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high with best breaks maybe shoulder high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with best breaks to head high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with sets near 1 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.

More of the same for California with a mix of locally generated windswell (though trending downward) and southern hemi swell hidden underneath. Additionally 2 inconsistent small swells originating off Japan to move in mostly for breaks north of Pt Conception. Hawaii to be the best spots for the Japan swells, with the first already hitting and the second right behind. A small but reasonably strong storm is developing off the kuril Islands tracking northeast, but the swell vector is not favorable for Hawaii and it's too far away to be of much interest for California. Southern hemi energy is done for the South Shore for now, though a small but rather intense storm is starting to develop off Tasmania schedule to move into the Tasman Sea on Friday. Maybe some hope here. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream (4/6) continued holding on. Two troughs of interest were depicted, one off the Kuril Islands with 150 kt winds flowing under it then the jet lifted north rising to the Aleutians at the dateline, then turning southeast and falling through the Gulf of Alaska into another weak trough off California with 110 kt winds flowing under it then into North CA. The two troughs mentioned above are the best areas for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (4/9) the pattern is to remain basically unchanged with only some of the energy in the west flowing towards but not reaching the eastern half of the jet. Some surface level gale support likely. Beyond 72 hours the same basic configuration is to hold but the concentration of wind energy currently isolated to the West Pacific is to flow over the Aleutian peak and is to drop into the trough on the Gulf side of the jet with winds up to the 160 kt mark early next Tuesday. This looks quite positive for gale development there.

At the surface on Thursday (4/6) a new very weak 1008 mb low was off the North California coast sitting in the bottom of the persistent upper level trough there producing 25-30 kt northwest winds aimed a bit south of the Southern CA coast. Short period windswell is pushing towards CAlifornia from this system. Swell from a low that was off Japan last weekend is in the water hitting Hawaii and buoy 46006 well off the California coast (see 1st Japan Low). Also another low off North Japan on Tuesday (4/4) has produced yet more moderate swell heading towards Hawaii and a lesser extent California (see 2nd Japan Low).

Over the next 72 hours a storm developed of North Japan late Wednesday (4/5) producing confirmed winds of 60-70 kts winds over a small area aimed well at Hawaii down the 312 degree great circle path and tracking northeast. By Thursday AM pressure to drop to 968 mbs with 50-60 kt winds over a small area aimed east-northeast or 45 degrees east of the 319 degree path to Hawaii and right up the 303 degree great circle path to California. Seas to 30 ft over a tiny area. This system to lift northeast with 55-60 kts winds continuing in the evening but aimed more to the northeast up the 306 degree path to North CA with only minimal energy still aimed towards Hawaii and from a very indirect angle. 35 ft seas forecast at 47N 172E. By Friday AM the core of the storm to be impacting the Aleutians on the dateline with residual 50 kts winds aimed well north of the 306 degree track to North CA, focused more on Washington and points north. 39 ft seas modeled at 50N 177E. This storm to be gone by nightfall. If all goes as forecast a small and moderately long period swell swell should push into Hawaii on Monday (4/10).

1st Japan Low
On Tuesday (2/28) a broad 988 mb low started to develop in the Sea of Japan but remained landlocked there. But by Thursday (2/30) it nudged east into the open waters of the Western Pacific but unorganized. By Friday evening (3/31) pressure dropped to 980 mbs with winds building briefly to 50 kts at 37N 153E and seas to 21 ft over a small area aimed a bit south of the great circle tracks to Hawaii then expanding on Saturday as pressure held in the 984 mb range. Winds were confirmed at 40-45 kts with seas 30 ft (Sat PM at 36N 162E) aimed much better towards the Islands while tracking east. The low was still a bit west of the dateline Sunday (4/2) with 35-40 kts winds and 25-27 ft seas continuing in it's south quadrant aimed well at Hawaii, fading mid-Monday as the swell vector takes aim more the east and beyond Hawaii's swell window. 20 ft seas modeled. A moderate utility class swell pushed into the Hawaiian Islands Wednesday (4/5) and Thursday about as expected. Much smaller well decayed energy to limp into exposed north facing breaks in North/Central California Friday peaking Saturday (4/8) at 3.4 ft @ 14-15 secs (4-5 ft faces).

2nd Japan Low
A low started to
formed over Japan on Sunday (4/2). By Monday it pushed off Japan with pressure 980 mbs generating 45-50 kts winds pushing a bit south of the great circle rays to Hawaii and 32 ft seas following that path (at 35N 152E). The low made a little headway east on Tuesday but is expected to start lifting north with 35-40 kt winds aimed well at Hawaii in the evening and seas holding in the 30 ft range (near 32N 160E) pushing well towards Hawaii. This system to decay fast by Wednesday AM with no additional seas being generated. More small to moderate utility swell to push towards and into Hawaii by late Saturday (4/8) with swell reaching 4.2 ft @ 15 secs (5.5-6.0 ft). Some degree of well decayed energy likely to push into California and the US west coast late Monday (4/10) maxing Tuesday at 3.4 ft @ 15 secs (4-5 ft faces).

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/6) satellite and model data suggest the next system was winding up off the California coast. Not so much a swell producer as a wind and rain maker, it is expected to bring another south wind event to the North and Central Coasts Friday, clearing out quickly Saturday. A relatively benign patter forecast through the weekend and Monday, with a stronger system modeled pushing over the coast Tuesday (4/12) bring more south winds into Wednesday and pushing into Southern CA at that time.

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 with one more gale in.cgiay before everything shuts down. Here's the details:

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. this system faded Wednesday while tracking fast to the east. Swell to reach Southern California peaking Friday morning (4/7) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (2.5-3.0 ft)..

A new 968 mbs low formed in the Southeastern Pacific on Friday (3/31) well outside the Hawaiian swell window producing 45-50 kt confirmed winds late aimed northeast somewhat towards California and Central America. This fetch held if not built to 55 kts early Saturday (4/1) at 56S 119W aimed due north while traveling east and fading generating 30 ft seas at 52S 121W, fading out by Sunday morning. This system was right on the edge of the California swell window and aimed best at targets south of even Central America. Southern CA the best spot in the continental US to receive any energy from this one. Possible small swell to result on Sunday (4/9) with swell 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces) from 180 degrees building to 2.6 ft @ 15 secs on Monday (3.5-4.0 ft faces).

Also another stronger one developed in the far Southeastern Pacific on late Saturday (4/1) with pressure 956 mbs and 50 kt winds pushing northeast. Seas were modeled to 35 ft over a small area at 65S 155W. By Sunday (4/2) 45-50 kts winds were generating 37 ft seas at 63S 142W expected to hold through the evening but traveling fast to the east. By Monday this system was well outside the CA swell window. This system to perhaps generate some small south angled background swell for Hawaii (1 ft @ 15-16 secs) with decent swell expected to track into California favoring the south end of the state again, with Southern California to see swell of 2.6 ft @ 17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) on Tuesday (4/11) from 180-185 degrees.

On Thursday (4/6) a 972 mb gale was developing midway between Tasmania and New Zealand in the Tasman Sea starting to produce some winds. By the evening pressure to drop to 964 mbs with 50-55 kt winds even pushing 60 kts briefly developing in it's west quadrant aimed north towards Fiji and Hawaii beyond. This system to dissipate through the day Friday with winds down to 30-35 kts by Saturday AM. 40 ft seas peaking Friday Am down to 37 ft in the evening fading from 32 ft Saturday AM. Swell expected to push into Fiji starting Sunday AM (4/9) peaking late Monday then heading towardsHawaii. No energy to reach California. Will monitor.

No other swell producing system forecast.

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 another low to push off Japan on Sunday (4/9) with pressure 996 mbs producing 30-35 kt winds aimed towards Hawaii though a long ways away. The low to track east through Monday with winds up to barely 40 kts and seas 25 ft fading out to nothing on Tuesday. A pulse of small 13-14 sec swell possible for Hawaii by next weekend.

Also yet another 996 mb gale is to develop in the eastern Gulf of Alaska Monday (4/10) pushing southeast through Wednesday generating 30-35 kts winds and perhaps 22 ft seas on the gales western quadrant aimed a bit south of California through some energy still expected to push into the coast starting Wednesday, perhaps with some size.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a much calmer pattern to follow with no swell producing systems forecast.

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

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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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