Monday, May 1, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 5.3 ft @ 10.5 secs with swell 4.4 ft @ 9.6 secs from 348 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 15.9 secs with swell 3.0 ft @ 16.4 secs from 194 degrees. Wind southeast 4-6 kts. Water temperature 61.9 degs. At Ventura swell was 1.5 ft @ 16.1 secs from 185 degrees. At Santa Monica swell was 3.3 ft @ 16.5 secs from 206 degrees. At Camp Pendleton swell was 3.3 ft @ 16.7 secs from 216 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma swell was 3.4 ft @ 16.4 secs from 195 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 8.0 ft @ 7.7 secs with swell 5.3 ft @ 7.8 secs from 323 degrees. Wind northwest 20-23 kts at the buoy. Water temp 53.1 degs.
46006, 46059, Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Monday (5/1) in North and Central CA local windswell was chest high, clean, but warbled and mushed. Protected breaks were chest high and clean. At Santa Cruz southern hemi swell was head high or so and clean and lined up but a little slow. In Southern California up north local windswell was producing waves in the thigh high range and clean early. In North Orange Co surf was head high or a little more coming from the south with some power and clean with good form. In South Orange Co southern hemi swell was 1-2 ft overhead on the sets and clean and lined up. In San Diego southern hemi swell was producing surf at waist to chest high and clean with calm wind. Hawaii's North Shore was head high and clean wit light offshore's but soft. The South Shore was looking small with residual small southern hemi swell to waist high on the sets and clean. The East Shore was chest high and relatively clean with light southeast winds.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (5/1) in the Northern Hemisphere small swell from a gale that developed just off Kamchatka late Fri (4/28) tracking east just south of the Aleutians with up to 21 ft seas making it to the dateline Sun (4/30) before dissipating. Maybe background swell to result for Hawaii. Another gale is forecast lifting north through the Northeast Gulf on Tues-Wed (5/3) with up to 25 ft seas, mainly targeting North Canada. A broader gale is forecast for the dateline on Thurs-Fri (5/5) with seas to 25 ft aimed east. possible better swell to result. In the Southern Hemi swell from a gale that produced 38 ft seas southeast of New Zealand on Thurs-Fri (4/21) was hitting California. Another gale developed in the Central South Pacific on Tues-Wed (4/26) producing up to 34 ft seas aimed northeast. Looking at the forecast charts no additional swell producing fetch is forecast for the next week.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (5/1) the jetstream was pushing off Japan consolidated tracked east over the dateline with winds building to 130 kts there then fading some while still tracking east pushing over Southern British Columbia. A weak trough was trying to organize on the dateline starting to support gale development by the evening. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to build into Wed (5/3) being fed by 140 kt winds falling into it then staring to pinch off on Thurs (5/4) while moving east positioned just off the Pacific Northwest and no longer supporting gale development. Also another trough is forecast developing just west of the dateline on Wed (5/3) being fed by 130 kts winds Beyond 72 hours the dateline trough is forecast developing more while tracking east over the dateline on Fri (5/5) being fed by 140 kt winds and offering support for gale development, then fading some and starting to pinch but still solid in the Western Gulf on Mon (5/8) still offering support for gale development.
On Monday (5/1) low pressure was in the Western Gulf but offering no swell producing fetch. Small swell from a gale that tracked east off Kamchatka was pushing towards Hawaii (see Northwest Pacific Gale below).
Otherwise high pressure was ridging into Oregon producing a weak gradient and north winds from Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Conception at 20 kts making for typical summer time local windswell for North and Central CA.
Over the next 72 hours a new gale is forecast developing in the Gulf of Alaska Tues AM (5/2) with 35 kt northwest winds and seas building. In the evening the gale is to race northeast with winds building to 40 kts from the west with seas 21 ft at 51N 145W targeting mainly Vancouver Island northward. On Wed AM (5/3) the gale is to track north with 40 kt southwest winds just off South Alaska and seas 26 ft at 54N 143W targeting North Canada. No fetch aimed at the US West Coast. The gale is to move inland in the evening. No real swell for anywhere other than Vancouver Island northward is expected.
Also a broader gale is to develop just west of the dateline starting Wed PM (5/3) with a solid are of 30-35 kt northwest winds taking shape no yet producing seas of interest. By Thurs AM (5/4) fetch to build to 40 kts from the northwest with seas 21 ft at 42N 169E. 30-35 kt northwest winds to continue in the evening with 22 ft seas at 40N 177E. Fetch is to start fading from 30 kts Fri AM (5/5) with seas still 21 ft crossing the dateline at 42N 178W. Fetch to fade and seas falling below 20 in the evening. Something to monitor. Small swell possible for Hawaii.
Northwest Pacific Gale
A gale tracked off the North Kuril Islands on Fri PM (4/28) producing west winds 35 kts and seas building from 20 ft at 49N 163E. On Sat AM (4/29) it continued east just south of the West Aleutians with west winds 35 kts and seas building to 21 ft at 49N 168E targeting Hawaii and the US West Coast weakly. In the evening more of the same is forecast as it approaches the dateline with west winds fading to 30 kts and 21 ft seas at 50N 175E. Sun AM (4/30) 30 kt west winds to reach the Western Gulf while fading in coverage with seas 20 ft seas at 49N 177W. The gale to dissipate in the evening with seas dropping below any level of interest. Sideband swell possible for Hawaii and small well decayed energy for the US West Coast.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (5/4) building to 2.8 ft @ 11 secs later (3.0 ft). Swell fading after that. Swell Direction: 330 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday (5/1) high pressure was in control off the Central California coast ridging into Oregon driving north winds 20 kts over all of North and Central CA waters No change is expected on Tuesday with core winds near Pt Arena at 25 kts. Then the gradient is to lift north on Wed (5/3) and weaken with 20 kt north winds limited to Cape Mendocino early and weakening and maybe a light eddy flow setting up for Central CA. Thursday (5/4) light northwest winds 5-10 kts are forecast for all of CA but 15 kts for Cape Mendocino. Friday a new and expansive high pressure sets up ridging to South Oregon with northwest winds 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA building to 35 kts for North CA late. Saturday north winds to build to 35 kts early along the Cape Mendocino coast building south to Monterey Bay with possible large local windswell in play. Sunday more of the same is expected but with the strongest fetch migrating to Cape Mendocino down to Pt Reyes but 25 kts northwest winds impacting southward to Pt Conception. Monday the gradient is to lift north confined to Cape Mendocino with 10 kts winds from Pt Arena southward.
Swell from a decent gale previously under New Zealand was peaking along the US West Coast (see Third New Zealand Gale below). A smaller pulse was behind that from a gale previously in the Central South Pacific (see Central Pacific Gale below). And yet maybe a weaker one was behind that (see Weak Central Pacific Gale below).
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Third New Zealand Gale
Another third small storm built south of New Zealand on Thurs AM (4/20) with 50 kt southwest winds and seas building from 32 ft at 61S 170E. In the evening the storm was pushing east-northeast with winds still 45-50 kts and seas 39 ft over a tiny area at 61S 178E aimed east-northeast (202 degs SCal and 200 degs NCal and unshadowed for both, and 190 degs HI). Fetch tracked east-northeast Fri AM (4/21) fading from the southwest at 40 kts and seas 35 ft at 59S 170W. The gale faded from there in the evening but grew in coverage with 35 kt southwest winds and seas 28-30 ft over a large area at 49S 171W (211 degs SCal and 209 degs NCal and both shadowed,187 degs HI). Fetch continued lifting northeast Sat AM (4/22) with 26 ft seas at 44S 162W. In the evening fetch is to continue lifting northeast with winds up to 45 kts over a tiny area from the southwest and seas 27 ft at 45S 155W (194 degs SCal and 193 degs NCal and unshadowed). The gale faded from there Sun AM (4/23) with 40 kt south winds and 33 ft seas over a tiny area at 47S 139W. The gale to dissipate from there. Something to monitor.
Southern CA: Swell continues Mon (5/1) at 3.0 ft @ 16 secs (5.0 ft). Swell fades early Tues (5/2) from 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4.0 ft). Swell Direction: 203 degrees
North CA: Swell continues Mon (5/1) at 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft). Swell fades Tues (5/2) from 2.2 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft). Swell Direction: 200 degrees
Central Pacific Gale
Another small gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Tues AM (4/25) with 40-45 kt southwest winds over a decent sized area and seas building from 31 ft at 55S 157W. Fetch built in coverage and held strength in the evening at 40-45 kts with seas building to 34 ft at 53S 147W and unshadowed relative to CA. Fetch faded from 40 kts over a decent sized area aimed northeast Wed AM (4/26) with seas fading from 29 ft at 48S 132W. Fetch faded from 30-35 kts in the evening with seas with seas 26 ft at 48S 121W and no longer of interest. The gale to dissipate from there. Possible small swell for California down into Mexico focused on Central America, Peru and Chile.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Mon (5/1) at 1.6 ft @ 16 secs early (2.5 ft). Swell fading on Tues (5/2) from 2.2 ft at 14-15 secs (3.0 ft). Swell fading Wed (5/3) from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs early (2.0-2.5 ft). Swell Direction: 195 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late Tues (5/2) building to 1.3 ft @ 20 secs late (2.5 ft). Swell building Wed (5/3) to 2.5 ft @ 18 secs (4.5 ft). Swell continues Thurs (5/4) at 2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft). Swell fading Fri (5/5) from 3.0 ft @ 15 secs early (4.5 ft). Residuals fading on Sat (5/6) from 2.1 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 197 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (5/3) building to 2.0 ft @ 18 secs late (3.5 ft). Swell building some on Thurs (4/4) to 2.1 ft @ 17 secs early (3.5 ft). Swell continue Fri (4/5) at 2.3 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/6) from 1.5 ft @ 14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 193 degrees
Weak Central Pacific Gale
A small gale developed in the deep Central South Pacific on Thurs AM (4/27) with 45 kt southwest winds just north of the Ross Ice Shelf and seas building from 26 ft at 66S 165W. In the evening 40 kt southwest winds expanded northeast with seas to 31 ft at 65S 154W. The gale raced east and faded with winds dropping from 35 kts but over a broader area with seas fading from 25 ft at 60S 142W. Very small swell is possible for CA with better energy for Mexico down into Central America and Peru.
Southern CA: Swell arrival Sat (5/6) at 1.8 ft @ 18 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 186 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
Fall El Nino Forecast Fades
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. Still, the atmosphere is in a La Nina configuration.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Sun (4/30) east winds were over the entire equatorial Pacific but a little lighter over the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral from 140W eastward and light westward west of there at up to modest strength in the KWGA. La Nina appears to have finally backed off.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): Light west anomalies were over the entire KWGA. The forecast suggests west anomalies building some in the KWGA to moderate strength through 5/6 then fading some with light east anomalies developing over the dateline on 5/8. This suggests La Nina is weakening and a Active MJO pattern is trying to set up for the KWGA.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 4/30 a weak Active MJO pattern was in effect over the KWGA. The statistic model projects it fading and gone 2 weeks out with a modest Inactive Phase tracking east into the West Pacific. The dynamic model depicts a weakly Active pattern holding for the next 15 days with the Inactive Phase building in the Indian Ocean but confined there. All this suggest that the previous pattern of the Inactive Phase of the MJO constructively integrating with the remains of La Nina appears to be faded out and a neutral ENSO Pattern taking hold.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (5/1) The ECMF model indicates the Active Phase of the MJO was very weak over the East Pacific and is forecast to track east into the Atlantic and back to the Indian Ocean over the next 2 weeks. The GEFS model depicts the same thing initially but with the Active Phase holding position over the East to Central Pacific. This model runs about a week ahead of what occurs down at the surface.
40 day Upper Level Model: (5/1) This model depicts a weak Active Pattern was over the West Pacific. It is to track east and fade over the next few days. A moderate Inactive Phase to set up in the west 5/6 and is to track east to Central America 5/25. A moderate Active pattern to follow in the West Pacific 5/19 tracking east to the East Pacific through 6/10. This model runs about 2 weeks ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (5/1) This model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO was fading over the KWGA while moving east with weak west winds anomalies in play. Beyond the Active Phase is pulse some 5/15 with westerly anomalies building on the dateline 5/7-5/10 attributable to an Equatorial Rossby Wave. The Inactive Phase is to move in 5/15-6/8 with neutral wind anomalies setting up. After that the Active Phase is to start taking control on 6/10 with light west anomalies building holding through the end of the run on 7/28. The low pass filter indicates La Nina is to be gone on 5/11 (previously 5/6-5/8) with a weak El Nino like pattern taking hold 6/18, (previously 5/16-5/22) but much weaker than previously forecast. In fact, latest long range runs from the CFS suggest this to only be a weak Modoki event. That actually makes more sense given the weak warm water reservoir in the West Pacific.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (5/1) Actual temperatures remain stratified with warm water in the West Pacific at 30 degs C moving east some and back on the chart reaching east to 160E. The 28 deg isotherm line is drifting east at 164W after making significant eastward progress the previous week only to retrograde. The 26 deg isotherm continued easing to the east reaching to the Galapagos with the 24 degs isotherm over a modest pool down 25 meters (75 meters at 140W) and holding. Warm anomalies at +1 degs rule the entire upper reaches of the equatorial East Pacific from 65 meters upward with +2 degs anomalies in the west down at 125m and greater than 0.0 degs in between. A pocket of -2 degs anomalies is fading fast at depth between 110-140W down 100 meters. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 4/23 depicts that warm water is fading in the East Pac at +1-2 degs in small pockets easing east to about 140W. Cool water at -1-2 degs is at depth at 140W but is noticeably loosing coverage. Warm water is in the West at +2-3 degs reaching east to 160W, possibly making eastward progress. La Nina has lost control of the ocean at depth with something that almost resembles a warm pattern taking shape. The concern is there is not much warm water in the far West Pacific to feed any sort of a progressive Kelvin Wave pattern, but somehow more warm waters is present in the east and those waters in the west are building eastward some. And the cool pocket in the Central Pacific appears to be fading. Still - it is blocking the Kelvin Wave pathway.
Sea Level Anomalies: (4/23) No positive anomalies remain from the Galapagos westward. Neutral anomalies are in control. 0-5 cm anomalies remain along the coast of Peru and Ecuador. But no negative anomalies are present on the equator and in fact 0-+5 cm anomalies are over the entire KWGA suggesting warm water at depth. La Nina is gone in the East Pacific with a neutral to warm trend building in.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (4/30) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate warm water is off Northern Chile and Peru north to Ecuador then extending west over the Galapagos, but weaker west of there out to 160W. These warm waters are significantly eroded compared to a few weeks ago caused by upwelling along the immediate coast of Peru and North Chile. If anything, upwelling continues along South America and expanding in coverage. Looking at the large picture, warming in the southern hemi extends east thousands of miles off the coast of South America as far south as 20S or more. La Nina is gone and it looks like an El Nino like pattern is returning, though that seems hard to believe given the limited volume of subsurface warm water in the West equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (4/30): A cooling trend is setting up along immediate Chile and Peru. A weak and diffuse stream of cool trending extends from Ecuador west over the Galapagos on the equator out to 110W. A moderate warming trend is just north of the equator from Central America and Mexico out to the dateline. A warming trend is also present in the Northern Hemi modesty from North CA out to Hawaii reaching west to the Philippines.
Hi-res Overview: (4/30) There is no sign of La Nina anymore anywhere on the equator. A solid warm regime holds from Ecuador west to 140W and less energetic out to the dateline. It looks like El Nino is trying to develop and making headway into the Nino3.4 region.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (5/1) Today's temps are steady at +0.240, down from the peak of +3.0 degs on 3/18.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (5/1) temps were falling down at +0.419 degs.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (5/1) The forecast has temps steady at +0.65 degs from now till July, then fading early Aug to +0.45 degs, building to +0.5 degs in Oct continuing at that level into Jan 2018 suggesting a return of warmer temps, but not enough to really qualify as El Nino. CFS data suggests a Modoki style El Nino at best. La Nina is over and a return to normal temps appears to have occurred. The change in the atmosphere will be slower. Still, there is no source for greater warming with the warm pool in the far West Pacific pretty weak. Much recharging an heat buildup is required for a real El Nino to develop. We're at least 5 years out from that.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-April Plume updated (4/19) depicts temps are warming and are now at +0.4 degs. A slow increase in temps is forecast thereafter to +0.8 degs in July and up to +0.9 degs through the Fall into Winter. This is +0.3 degs warmer than the Feb forecast and +0.6 degs warmer than the January forecast and +0.1 degs since the March forecast suggesting La Nina is over and a warmer regime is setting up. See chart here - link.
Atmospheric Decoupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (5/1): The daily index was falling at -12.24. Its been unstable and all over the place the past week. The 30 day average was falling at -6.47. The 90 day average was falling at -1.63 or effectively neutral. This suggests a return to at least a neutral ENSO conditions has taken hold.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (4/27) Today's value was steady at -1.06, still pretty negative given the other oceanic signals. A peak low was reached on 11/2 at -1.94 the deepest it had been in this La Nina event. This measures atmospheric response, not oceanic. The atmosphere lags behind changes in the ocean. The expectation is this index will rise to 0.0 three months after the oceanic change occurred (Oceanic change occurred approx Jan 20 2017).
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO continues positive, though much weaker lately (as expected with La Nina setting in).
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.12, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.08. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74. No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table