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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: April 8, 2006 12:26 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 = 2.2 - California & 2.5 - 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 4/10 thru Sun 4/16
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 Gales Forecast in North Pacific
Longterm A Major Jetstream Shift Suggested


On Saturday (4/8) Northern CA surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and nearly windless but piles of residual lump for the previous nights storm. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high. Central California surf was waist to chest high and clean at the usual spots. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high at the best spots with others thigh high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high and coming up. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high, maybe a little more.

No change with more of the same for California and Hawaii through the end of the coming workweek. The west coast to see a mix of occasionally healthy locally generated windswell with south angled southern hemi swell and energy from Japan hidden underneath (mostly north of Pt Conception). Hawaii to be the focus for the Japan swells, with the second starting to hit with a third and possibly a fourth right behind. The majority of the southern hemisphere has been shut down for a while now though a small but rather intense storm is in the Tasman Sea today pushing energy north towards Fiji and to a much lesser extent, Hawaii. California is out of the picture on this one though. Big changes forecast long term in the North Pacific, so make the most of what you have. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Saturdays jetstream (4/8) looked decent, but longterm major changes downward are suggested. Today two troughs remained of interest: one broad one off the Kuril Islands with 130 kt winds flowing under it then lifted north rising to the Aleutians just east of the dateline, then turning south and falling through the Gulf of Alaska into another weak trough off California with 90 kt winds flowing under it then on into North CA. The two troughs mentioned above are the best areas for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (4/11) the pattern is to remain configured basically the same only with more energy in the west to 140 kts and flowing over the dateline ridge and into the eastern half of the jet with 140 kt winds there flowing through the Gulf of Alaska trough. Some surface level gale support likely in both locations. Beyond 72 hours big changes are now forecast starting on Wednesday (4/12) with the jet rising to the north off Russia and flowing off the Northern Kuril's rather than over Japan ridging over the Aleutians and into Vancouver Island with only a mild trough remaining in the far northern Gulf of Alaska. This suggests and end to both the Japan storm corridor and the southern route off California that has provided so much moisture there as of late. The dual gale pattern is likely to break down.

At the surface on Saturday (4/8) broad high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered north of Hawaii ridging into the Islands but not pushing into California or anywhere west of the dateline. A new (and possible the last) gale was pushing off Japan (details below). Also a very weak 1008 mb low was circulating off North California and fading fast. Over the next 72 hours 2 system of interest are forecast before a major jetstream shift starts to impact the surface level pattern.

The first system is the gale off Japan. By Saturday evening (4/8) it is to be fully exposed off the Japan coast with pressure 996 mbs with 40-45 kt winds circulating around it's western flank providing some fetch aimed towards Hawaii up the 298 degree great circle path. The low to track east on Sunday with winds continuing in the 40 kt range aimed well at Hawaii up the 300 degree path with seas 27 ft and holding. The low to be fading out completely through the day Monday with seas fading to 22 ft late and gone by Tuesday AM (4/11). One more pulse of small utility class energy expect to push towards Hawaii arriving late Thursday (4/13) peaking Friday AM at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.8 ft faces) assuming all goes as forecast. No hope for anything pushing into California.

Also on Monday (4/10) a new gale is to start setting up in the southern Gulf of Alaska pushing southeast with pressure down to 992 mbs by nightfall and 40-45 kts winds aimed reasonably well towards the North and Central CA coasts. This low to peak Tuesday AM with up to 45 kts winds pushing parallel to the California coast while the leading edge of the gales eastern flank impacts the coast pushing south. a tiny patch of 30 ft seas to persist through daylight hours off the North/Central CA coast aimed best from Pt Conception Southward. By Wednesday (4/12) the gale to begin a rapid decline with the core positioned just off Pt Conception and winds fading from 35 kts and all swell energy aimed due south towards open ocean and fading. Rather large windswell expected to reach the North CA coast early Wednesday pushing into Central CA late in the afternoon with some degree of energy pushing into South CA early Thursday AM. Will monitor.

Here's wrap-up of swell already in the water traveling towards our forecast area's:

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. Small 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).

3rd Japan Low
Another storm developed off 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 dropped 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 lifted 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 confirmed at 47N 172E. By Friday AM the core of the storm was 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 was gone by nightfall. Another small and moderately long period swell swell should push into Hawaii on Monday (4/10) with swell 3.7 ft @ 14 secs midday (4.5-5.0 ft faces) also reaching California at the same time but much smaller (2 ft @ 16 secs) building to 2.6 ft @ 15 secs Tuesday (3.5-4.0 ft faces).

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (4/8) satellite and model data suggest the latest gale was fading off the California coast. A rather calm local wind pattern was setting up with no change forecast through Monday. Then Tuesday (4/11) the last big blow is forecast courtesy of a robust low off the coast. South winds to build into North CA in the morning at 30 kts reaching Central CA in the evening. South CA to get a taste of the action too Wednesday into early Thursday with the whole thing fading out then. High pressure forecast to build in behind with a bit of a north wind spring pattern setting up.

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


South Pacific

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 dropped 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 dissipated through the day Friday with winds down to 45-50 kts and 40-45 kts in the evening then 30-35 kts by Saturday AM. 35 ft seas peaked Friday AM down to 32 ft in the evening holding Saturday AM, the fading fast from 30 ft in the evening. Swell expected to push into Fiji starting Sunday AM (4/9) (California time) peaking late Monday at 7.6 ft @ 15 secs (10-11 ft faces - 15-17 ft at the better reef breaks) and still 8.3 ft @ 15 secs Tuesday (12-13 ft faces - 18-19 ft faces best reef breaks) then doing a slow decay through Thursday. Swell heading towards Hawaii, arriving Friday (4/14) with swell 2 ft @ 17 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft faces). 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 perhaps another weak low is forecast for the very northern part of the Gulf of Alaska late Wednesday (4/12) but no real swell producing fetch is suggested. The jetstream to be pushing all energy either through the Bering Sea or over Alaska.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours 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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