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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: May 8, 2007 7:21 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
Click Here to Visit Killer Dana!
Swell Potential Rating = 1.0 - 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 5/7 thru Sun 5/13
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   

Weak Windswell All for Now
Some Hope Modeled Down South


On Tuesday (5/8) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and clean but a bit unorganized. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was thigh high. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was near flat even at top spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high and occasionally a bit more at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore had shoulder high windswell.

North/Central California was getting only local windswell coming from the north. Southern California was getting a little northerly windswell. Hawaii was getting a little northern windswell and background energy from the South Pacific. The North Pacific is essentially shutting down from the summer. The models suggest a little low pushing into the Gulf of Alaska over the coming weekend generating 18 ft seas, but that's likely more wishful thinking. Even if it does happen only limited windswell will result for California and the Islands in the best case. Meanwhile the southern hemi is stagnant. The models suggest a small storm pushing under New Zealand over the weekend pushing a bit to the northeast possibly providing summer time utility class energy for the Islands and much less for California, assuming it even forms. So the short story is things are pretty slow right now. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (5/8) for the North Pacific indicated a diffuse and weak flow in control providing no support for surface level gale development. Over the next 72 hours the jet over the West and Central Pacific is to be centered almost directly over the Aleutians driving any low pressure into the Bering Sea. The good news is it's to be a bit more cohesive with winds 110 kts. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to form a weak trough pushing into the Gulf of Alaska with winds 120 kts over the weekend possible providing very limited support for low pressure development there. Energy levels to increase the week beyond to 130 kts in one pocket over the dateline but the overall flow to be fragmented and generally diffuse, not providing much support for surface level gale development.

At the surface today a broad and strong high pressure system at 1040 mbs was centered just east of the dateline and 1200 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii locking down the North Pacific. It was too far north to be having any real influence over Hawaiian tradewinds and was too far west to be impacting California yet either. It was generating some moderate 20-25 kt northeast winds well north of Hawaii, maybe good for a little short period northeast windswell a day out. But in short, a calm pattern was in effect. Over the next 72 hrs this high is to try and push east but is to fall apart before making any real progress. The net result is no swell producing fetch suggested.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (5/8) high pressure at 1040 mbs was well west of our area with a near-neutral pressure pattern in-control locally, though some leading edges of the high were pressing towards Washington generating 25 kt northwest winds there and perhaps limited windswell for our area. The high to hold if not make limited inroads further south continuing a steady pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino to 25 kts Wednesday, then fading to 20 kts Thursday, though winds to be light from Pt Reyes southward into South CA. Friday that's to change with a new high trying to build in the East Pacific setting up 20 kt north winds sweeping down the coast from Cape Mendocino southward over the Channel Islands, making a very shallow fetch area capable of generating more short period local windswell through the weekend, but nothing more. This to continue early next week too, though focused more towards Pt Conception while a weak surface low pushes up towards the North CA coast, but no real swell production is expected from it.


South Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (5/8) for the South Pacific indicated a diffuse flow pushing generally over the deep South Pacific at no more than 100 kts, not support of gale development. Over the next 72 hours a bit of a trough is to try and open up under New Zealand on Friday with 130-140 kt north winds pushing up it's west side, getting more supportive for gale development. Beyond 72 hours energy levels to hold while the trough expands in size from the weekend into early next week almost filling the entire western half of the South Pacific. Much better support for surface level gale development expected.

At the surface high pressure at 1028 mbs was positioned just east of New Zealand ridging south to 65S pretty much choking off the storm corridor there. A second high to the east had control of the rest of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours not much of a change is forecast. One low pressure system it to track fast through the South Pacific generating 35-40 kt west winds all aimed at Chile and maybe Peru minimizing any energy pushing to the north. Otherwise no swell producing systems 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 hrs weak low pressure in the southeastern Bering Sea to fall into a trough in the upper levels of the atmosphere in the Gulf of Alaska generation a small fetch of 25 kt west winds Friday (5/11) turning more to a northwest winds Saturday and up to 30 kts targeting Hawaii some with sideband energy heading towards California. Seas to 17 ft. The whole thing to fade out Sunday and dissipate. Very limited swell generation capacity for the aforementioned targets with some luck.

Theoretically another series of potentially stronger low to follow early next week, one on the dateline and one tracking just off and up the Kuril's with winds 35 kts in each. Will believe it when it happens.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hrs the models indicate a new low pressure system to start developing under Tasmania on Friday (5/11) with winds pushing to 45-50 kts late. By Saturday it to push east and clear of New Zealand with 50 kts winds aimed well to the north thought day generating up to 35 ft seas at 55S 175E targeting Hawaii well with secondary energy towards California. The low to track east Sunday (5/13) while winds fade from 45 kts. 37 ft seas forecast at 54S 174W in the morning fading from 35 ft late at 53S 168W. Seas to fall below 30 ft Monday AM.

Low pressure to continue in the area under New Zealand through most fetch (in the 35 kt range) to impact land there, limiting swell generation capacity.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and pe.cgie that make up the surf community. Check it out here:

STORMSURF on the News: NBC-11 came to visit Stormsurf last week to talk about the Mavericks Surf Contest and surf forecasting. See the piece here: Click on 'Mavericks Forecaster'

Surf Video Clips at - Check out this new website dedicated soley to high quality - high action surf clips from around the world. Great action form Morocco, Hawaii, Mexico, California and many more spots all streaming right to your desktop. Piles of fun and hours on enjoyment. Check it out now at:

High Noon and Low Tide: Eric Nelson has remastered this epic Mavericks documentary covering a week of giant surf leading up to that fateful day of 12/23/94 when we lost Mark Foo. See all the footage with archived and recent interviews of all the best riders including Grant Washburn, Doc Renneker, Evan Slater, Peter Mel and more. This is a must-have piece for any serious Maverick collection. Available at local surfshops. Will be coming to an on-line store shortly.

New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here:

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way! .xml

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