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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: June 20, 2006 7:47 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 = 5.0 - California & 3.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 6/19 thru Sun 6/25
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   

Swell #3S Hits SCal
South Pacific Sleeps


On Tuesday (6/20) Northern CA surf was head high to 1 ft overhead with bigger sets but bumpy. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high with up head high sets. Central California surf was waist to chest high and socked in with fog. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with up to head high sets a spots exposed to the south. The LA Area southward to Orange County was head high up to 3 ft overhead at the better breaks on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were 2-4 ft overhead on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was waist high.

Strong Southern Hemi Swell #3S hit Southern California as expected with size pushing up through the day, occasionally reaching near double overhead on the biggest sets at the top spots. More of the same expected early Wednesday too. North CA was not fairing as well, with much of the swell shadowed and unable to take a direct route to the coast. Hawaii was settling down with small but rideable surf in.cgiace on the South Shore. One more small pulse has tracked up through the Tasman Sea past Fiji and heading towards the Islands for Wednesday. Looking at the longer term a rather quiet pattern is suggested for the South Pacific for the next week, with nothing of any real interest forecast. One small gale is forecast in the upper reaches of the Southeast Pacific Thurs/Fri with most energy aimed towards Central America with only sideband energy expected pushing into California. In general, a big downturn expected so make the most of what you have now. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (6/20) indicated no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is now on an exception basis through the summer.

At the surface on Tuesday (6/20) a broad double barreled 1032 mb high pressure system stretched from the dateline east to a point off North California. This was generating brisk 20-25 kt north winds along North California centered off Cape Mendocino resulting in moderate.cgius sized windswell along the North and Central CA coasts. This same high pressure system was providing decent trades blowing over the Hawaiian Islands at 15-20 kts. Over the next 72 hours the high is to become a bit more centralized off North California continuing the pressure gradient over the Cape Mendocino area with north winds 25-30 kts and generating yet more short period windswell for California. Trades to continue over Hawaii too in the 20 kts range making for small to moderate short period easterly windswell, then fading Thursday as the high moves a bit too far to the east. Otherwise no swell producing systems forecast.

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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (6/20) high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered a mere 600 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino interacting with lower pressure inland and generating northwest winds along the coast at 25-30 kts and producing 9-10 sec period windswell. This pattern is to continue unchanged through Friday, then the core of the high and the resulting pressure gradient and north winds to start drifting north by Friday but continue unchanged in strength. This to result in calmer local winds if not slighty south wind eddy conditions and a slight decrease in windswell size, but it's to remain present just the same well into next week.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (6/20) a fully .cgiit jetstream flow was in.cgiace over the entire South Pacific with the southern branch being generally weak and traversing the edge of the Antarctic Continent. The Northern branch was dominant with winds 130-150 kts and generally flowing zonally (flat) from off Australia into Southern Chile. No significant troughs or areas of interest were in.cgiace capable of supporting surface level storm or gale development though a small trough was present under New Zealand. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast with even the New Zealand trough getting wiped out. Beyond 72 hours the pattern continues on with the only ray of hope a small and weak trough developing in the far Southeastern Pacific, but no real energy to be flowing around it. Minimal support for surface level low pressure development there.

At the surface on Tuesday (6/20) no swell producing low pressure systems were evident and high pressure at 1024 mbs was sitting in the middle of the Southeast Pacific ridging south to Antarctica. A weak ineffectual 984 mb low pressure system was east of Northern New Zealand but wasn't doing anything of interest. Over the next 72 hours that low is to try and develop holding well east of New Zealand. Late Wednesday pressure to drop to 972 mbs with 48 hours of 40-45 kt winds depicted aimed a bit east of Hawaii and more towards California. Seas building to 30-32 ft Friday (6/23) at 38S 145W moving to 130W, but that remains and optimistic estimate. Nothing else suggested.


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


Storm #3S (South California)
Storm History
On Monday AM (6/12) a new storm developed in the Southeast Pacific outside the Hawaiian swell window but in the California swell window. Pressure was 960 mbs with a small fetch of 55 kts winds aimed mostly east at 52S 135W pushing 45 degree east of the 190 degree path to California. Seas built to 30 ft at 55S 142W. The low started tracking northeast in the evening with a solid 60 kt fetch confirmed at 51S 124W aimed 30 degrees east of the 182 degree path to NCal/185 SCal. Seas modeled to 37 ft at 52S 123W.

Tuesday AM (6/13) the storm bloomed a bit with pressure 960 mbs and 50-55 kts winds at 48S 120W covering 840 nmiles aimed 15 degree east of the 179-182 degree path to California, heavily favoring the south end of the state. 44 ft seas were modeled at 49S 119W. A broad area of 50-55 kt fetch held into the evening at 42S 114W aimed 20 degree east of the 178 degree path to SCal with nothing reaching into NCal. 48 ft seas modeled at 45S 113W.

By Wednesday AM fetch was fading fast though still covering a broad area with 35-40 kt winds terminating at 38S 112W and 42 ft seas at 40S 110W. The fetch covered 1080 nmiles aimed just east of due north. The fetch was all but gone by nightfall though pockets of south winds were still confirmed at 35-40 kts in the same region, but over a much smaller area. No real sea production was occurring though, with the bulk of the heights produced from previous days fetch.

The Jason-1 satellite made no clean passes over the fetch area during the storms lifecycle.

Swell Generation Potential
This storm was reasonably impressive from a pure meteorological perspective. Solid 50-55 kt winds blew over a 800 nmile or greater fetch area aimed well to the north for 24-36 hours with another 24 hours of 40 kt fetch behind. Seas reached a solid 48 ft (unconfirmed) and positioned reasonably close to California (4428-5134 nmiles from SCal). Historically this is a strong storm, but not over the top. The issue is it's position in the ocean relative to California. For the most part it didn't start producing decent seas until it was out of the NCal swell window. This shifts the focus to Southern California and Central America. If the storm had been 400 nmiles to the west, even larger swell would have blanketed all of California. Regardless, large seas have been produced and are tracking on a fairly northerly course, setting their sights from South CA southward into Central America (Costa Rica) and down into Peru. Significant class swell is expected to reach into Southern CA with lesser energy wrapping into only the most exposed Northern CA breaks. No energy was aimed towards Hawaii.

Detail Surf Forecasts
South CA: A downward trend to begin Wednesday, but still far from small with swell 4.9 ft @ 16 secs (7.5-8.0 ft faces with sets to 9.5 ft best breaks), fading towards 15 secs late afternoon. Thursday to see 14-15 sec residuals with swell 4.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (6 ft faces with set to 7 ft) and fading from there. Swell Direction: 177-185 degrees

North CA: Forecast for this region is highly problematic mainly because most of the energy will be either outside the swell window or whatever does reach the coast will be shadowed by local landmass to the south. Best estimates for most exposed breaks suggest Wednesday swell to be 3.6 ft @ 17 secs through the day (6 ft faces) and holding. Thursday to have swell of 3.5-4.0 ft @ 15 secs (5-6 ft faces). 14 sec residuals left Friday. Swell Direction: 173-182 degrees


Tasman Sea Storm (Fiji-Hawaii)
On Wednesday (6/14) a small but strong 984 mb storm developed south of Tasmania with 50-55 kt south winds pushing up into the Tasman Sea through the day. 36 ft seas were modeled over a tiny area in the evening at 48S 148E targeting Hawaii up the 214 degree path through the Tasman Sea (and unshadowed by Fiji).

This storm was tracking east Thursday AM with winds 45 kts aimed north and 37 ft seas at 45S 155E aimed towards Hawaii up the 212 degree path. In the evening the storm core passed over the southern tip of New Zealand with residual 30-35 kt fetch and 32 ft seas pushing up through the Tasman Sea from 44S 161E then dissipated on Friday.

Large swell was expected to hit Fiji Sunday (6/18) GMT with swell 10 ft @ 15 secs with much less energy passing there heading towards Hawaii, well filtered by Fiji and surrounding Islands.

Expect swell to arrive in Hawaii late Wednesday (6/21 with swell 1.3 ft @ 17 secs (2 ft faces) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs Thursday (3.0-3.5 ft faces) then peaking early Friday with swell 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). One more day of rideable surf Saturday then it's to fade. Swell Direction: 210-214 degrees.



Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours high pressure to continue off California with a secondary high setting up over the dateline Saturday and beyond (6/24). The eastern most high is expected to continue the north wind pattern along the California coast at 30 kts into next week, though drifting more to the north off Oregon. Steady local moderate sized windswell continuing. But as this high drifts north, trades over Hawaii are to collapse, reducing the probability for any easterly windswell generation there.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours nothing is forecast. The upper level pattern to be driving any low pressure system trying to emerge from under Australia into Antarctica over the Ross Ice Shelf, getting no traction on ice free waters.

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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Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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