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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: April 11, 2006 9:26 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 = 3.2 - 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   

Gulf Of Alaska Still Productive
But Jetstream is Shifting


On Tuesday (4/11) Northern CA surf was a few feet overhead and ripped to shreds from strong south wind. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high and ugly. Central California surf was chest to head high with slightly overhead sets and not too tattered. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high at the best spots with others less. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with shoulder high sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to maybe chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to chest high and fading. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest high from northeast windswell.

Hawaii to see generally smaller surf. A little pulse of potential energy expected for the South Shore originating from a storm in the Tasman Sea last week with only marginally rideable energy forecast for the North Shore. California has one more pulse of southern hemi swell working it's way into the coast now with much larger swell from a gale just off the coast heading in. 2 more gales on the charts too forecast for the Gulf of Alaska, but neither has yet to form, so they're just phantom swells at the moment. It ain 't real till the wind generates seas which start pushing in our direction. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream (4/11) was on track with previous forecast, looking decent but with major downward longterm changes suggested. Today two troughs remained of interest much like previous forecast: one steep thin one just west of the dateline with 120 kt winds flowing under it then lifting north rising to the Aleutians just east of the dateline, tracking into Alaska then turning south and falling fast through the Gulf of Alaska into another steep trough off North California with 150 kt winds flowing under it then weakening and flowing over Pt Conception, CA. The two troughs mentioned above are the best areas for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (4/14) the big pattern change previous forecast is to start taking effect. The trough over the West Pacific is to get totally cut off late Wednesday (4/12) as the jet flows due west to east over the Aleutian Islands, and the trough in the Gulf is to suffer a near similar fate with it's remnants pushing inland over Central Ca on Friday. This to leave a huge ridge covering the entire North Pacific with no support for surface level gale development. Just a slight dip in the jet in the Northern Gulf of Alaska to remain but with 140 kt winds flowing under it providing some hope here. Beyond 72 hours that dip to get more pronounced actually developing into a certified trough over the weekend with 120 kt winds flowing under it, pushing into Oregon. That to peter out and push inland early next week but another small but potent trough to drop out of the Bering Sea and into the Northwestern Gulf Tuesday (4/18) providing opportunity for Gulf storm development, but that's quite a reach for the models. The West PAcific to remain locked in upper level high pressure.

At the surface on Tuesday (4/11) 2 solid high pressure cores were in effect, one off Japan at 1024 mbs and the second north of Hawaii at 1032 mbs. The only low pressure of interest was a gale just off California coast pushing southeast at 1000 mbs (see California Gale below). Over the next 72 hours one more system of interest is forecast as a major jetstream shift starts to impact the surface level pattern.

On late Thursday (4/13) a 982 mb low is to develop in the extreme northern Gulf of Alaska dropping southeast and interacting with strong high pressure at 1034 mbs north of Hawaii generating a gradient and a broad fetch of 40-45 kts northwest winds setting up over exposed waters of the Gulf. This low to track southeast Friday impacting the Central Canadian coast late with 30-35 kt winds continuing. Seas to peak at 30 ft for a brief interval early Friday, then start fading through some degree of 25-30 kt fetch to be pushing through the Gulf through the weekend, slowly decaying over time. Seas to fall below the 20 ft threshold midday Saturday. All winds to be pushing on a rather north angle towards north CA, and even less well setup for Central CA. Rough data suggests rather large (for the time of year) swell with period in the 14 sec range pushing into North CA early Sunday (4/16) with less energy pushing into Central CA.


California Gale
On Monday (4/10) a gale start setting up in the southern Gulf of Alaska pushing southeast with pressure down to 992 mbs and 40-45 kts winds pushing near 50 kts in the evening aimed reasonably well towards the North and Central CA coasts. This low started to degrade Tuesday AM with a fading fetch of 35-40 kt winds imaged pushing parallel to the California coast while the leading edge of the gales eastern flank impacted the coast near San Francisco pushing south. A small patch of 35 ft seas to persist through the evening off the North/Central CA coast aimed well south of any mainland areas. By Wednesday (4/12) the gale to begin a rapid decline with the core positioned just off Pt Conception and winds fading from 30 kts and all swell energy aimed due south towards open ocean and fading. Large late season swell has impacted buoy 46006 starting at 8 PM Monday for 12 hours as the core of the fetch pushed directly over this buoy. Seas were reported at 21-25 ft with pure swell 15-18 ft @ 14.2 secs, working their way into buoy 46059 starting at 11 AM Tuesday with pure swell 14 ft @ 14 secs. This swell expected to peak along the North CA coast near sunrise Wednesday with pure swell 9-10 ft @ 14 secs (12-14 ft faces) from 270-280 degrees. This swell to push into Central CA late afternoon with the same size and some degree of energy pushing into South CA early Thursday AM but already on it's way down from 3.5 ft @ 14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces exposed breaks) and maybe a little bigger in San Diego early.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (4/11) satellite and model data indicates a front associated with yet another gale was pushing down the coast with the commensurate south winds affecting coastal waters through Pt Conception. This to continue through Wednesday then give way to a calmer pattern over the state. The next weather system is slated for Sunday (4/16) with south winds 15-20 kts pushing into San Francisco working their way south to Big Sur, but no further. Perhaps some northwest winds in the 15 kt range Mon/Tues (4/18) for Central CA, but otherwise a calmer pattern taking hold.

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


South Pacific

A strong gale 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) peaking late Saturday (4/15) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). No energy to reach California.

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 one more low is forecast for the Gulf of Alaska Monday (4/17). Pressure to be 988 mbs with a gradient forming between it and strong high pressure over the dateline at 1032 mbs, sending a decent sized area of 45-50 kts winds aimed midway between Hawaii and California into Tuesday generating up to 36 ft seas, fading Wednesday. If this were to occur some small swell would likely push south towards Hawaii with the lions share of the energy pushing into California and Baja. It's way too early to have any confidence in this forecast, but it's something to monitor. No other systems of interest forecast.

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

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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