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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 3, 2005 9:27 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 = 4.0 - California & 3.8 - 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 6/27 thru Sun 7/3
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   

Small Pulse Heading to Hawaii
Reasonable South Pacific Storm on the Charts


On Sunday (7/30) Northern CA surf was knee to waist high. South facing breaks were flat. Central California was thigh high with waist high sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were flat. The LA area southward into Orange County was knee high with waist high sets at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were near flat. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was chest high. The East Shore was thigh high.

Really flat conditions have settled over the Pacific save one small utility swell pushing into Hawaii's South Shore from under New Zealand and some windswell pushing into Northern CA. If you see rideable waves, take them for all they're worth. The only hope on the charts is a decent storm forecast to traverse the South Pacific starting Tuesday (7/5), but most energy is to move towards Central America. If it develops some south swell energy is possible for both Hawaii and California, but neither will be on the direct path, meaning just moderate swell at best. See details below...



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

North Pacific

At the jetstream level on Sunday (7/3) the jetstream was very weak, almost non-existent with no defined features worthy of note (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a faint trough is to set up in the Gulf of Alaska and building slowly with winds to 120 kts by Wednesday (7/6). No support for surface level storm development suggested though.

At the surface today it really doesn't get much blander. High pressure at 1024 mbs was centered over the dateline with a ridge pushing east to Washington. It was producing moderate gradient north winds along California's northern coast at 25 kts (and some windswell there) and another patch of moderate east winds at 15-20 kts starting at Hawaii and extending west to the dateline. Weak nondescript low pressure was in the Gulf of Alaska and just off the Kuril Islands, neither of which had any potential to become something more (animation here). Over the next 72 hours no big change is forecast with the high continuing in the east at 1024 mbs but retrograding east some providing better weak windswell potential for Hawaii while the NOrthern California gradient continues.

More model data here


California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (7/3) indicate moderate high pressure at 1022 mbs centered near the dateline ridging thinly into Washington. A weak gradient remained in.cgiace off Cape Mendocino with the QuikSCAT satellite confirming north winds at 25-30 kts over a tiny area there. This area has been reasonably productive as of late, with confirmed waves to 2-3 ft overhead at select Northern CA locations on Saturday (7/2). The models suggest a slow degradation of this pattern into Wednesday (7/6) as low pressure inland fades and the gradient losses fuel. Fading windswell expected. High pressure is to return north of Hawaii on Friday (7/8) at 1030 mbs but is to be held off from California as a series of 2 weak lows push through the Gulf of Alaska thanks to a building trough in the jetstream there. Northeast winds in the 20-25 kt range is forecast aimed well at California, but they are to be positioned likely too far away such that any seas generated will decay to near nothing before arriving at the coast. Will monitor.

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


South Pacific

On Sunday (7/3) the jetstream charts indicated a strong ridge in the northern branch of the jet was roaring south of Tahiti at 190 kts. This was certainly sweeping the surface level below it clean of any swell producing fetch. Otherwise there was a weak ridge in the southern branch southeast of New Zealand and another southwest of Chile, both extending to Antarctica. This was not encouraging (animation here). Over the next 72 hours starting Monday (7/4) the strong ridge is to moderate and the southern branch is start merging with the northern branch, providing a elongated corridor of favorable conditions extending from southeast of New Zealand slowly northeast to a point just off Central Chile with support from the strong winds in the northern branch adding energy to the trough on the very eastern edge of the US swell window late Tuesday (7/5). This is consistent with what the models have been projecting for 4 days now, improving the likelihood that this outcome with occur.

At the surface today a small high pressure center at 1032 mbs was just east of New Zealand and another southeast of Tahiti. A string of generic weak low pressure systems were squeezing under New Zealand riding along the south edge of the pair of highs to the north, but none had enough energy to produce anything more than fleeting small areas of 35-40 kt winds. No seas of interest were indicated (animation here). Over the next 72 hours one of these generic lows is to start developing, tapping energy in the improved upper level wind pattern. Starting Tuesday (7/5) pressure is to drop to 972 mbs in the low while high pressure holds at 1032 mbs just east of New Zealand, setting a a gradient between the two aimed northeast. Winds forecast at 50 kts over a tiny area embedded in a broader area of 40-45 kts winds aimed best at Central America. Seas building briefly to 38 ft over a small area aimed towards Central America and centered at 50S 145W. The storm is to track northeast while loosing definition, with winds down to 40 kts late Wednesday (7/6) positioned 1500 nmiles south of Tahiti. Seas dropping to 33 ft centered at 45S 140W. Additional energy is expected to move into this area early Friday (7/8) with winds back up to 45-50 kts near 47S 130W, but fading into Saturday (7/9). Seas expected in the 32-35 ft range near 44S 130W aimed mostly at Peru, then fading. Decent sideband potential for California for the duration of the storm with lesser energy moving north over a short window towards Hawaii from early in the storms life. Of course this all assumes the storm even forms.

More model data here


Small New Zealand Storm - Hawaii
On Thursday evening (6/30) a 984 mb gale developed east of New Zealand and wound up through Friday AM (7/1) producing a fleeting and tiny 24 hour fetch of 45-50 kt winds aimed almost due north, right at Hawaii up the 192 degree great circle path. 18 hours of 28-29 ft seas were generated positioned near 47S 175W, 4300 nmiles southwest of Hawaii but good enough for some decent summertime utility class swell or better for Hawaii in the 13-14 sec range but likely hardly noticeable for California. Will track in the Hawaiian QuikCAST (look for arrival next Friday - 7/8).



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

North Pacific

Sundays upper level models (7/3) indicated that beyond 72 hours the weak trough forecast for the Gulf of Alaska is to peak on Thursday (7/7) with winds generally in the 120 kt range with the trough pushing east, eventually pushing over North California on Sunday (7/10). A bit of a ridge is forecast over the dateline. But really no potential for surface level swell production suggested.

At the surface high pressure is to continue off California producing the standard summertime Cape Mendocino gradient north winds through Thursday of next week (7/7). another weak low is to push off Japan tracking up the Kuril Islands to the Bering Sea around the periphery of high pressure dominating the grater Pacific Basin. Otherwise nothing of interest forecast.


South Pacific

Thursdays upper level models (6/30) indicated that beyond 72 hours the trough under Tahiti is to hold in some fashion through early Friday (7/8) until a big ridge starts developing east of New Zealand on Saturday (7/9) and starts pushing east, focusing on the area well south of Tahiti extending to near Antarctica. No hope directly after that with the ridge dominating through at least Sunday (7/10).

At the surface a new low is forecast just east of New Zealand on Saturday (7/9) at 972 mbs with winds forecast at 40-45 kts over a moderate area aimed due north towards Hawaii holding for 24 hours, then fading out.Seas projected in the 29 ft range but tiny in areal coverage compared to the much broader storm co.cgiex in the the Southeastern Pacific.


Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Update
On Friday (6/24) the Southern Oscillation Index dipped into the negative range at -12, the first time in 9 days. Readings of -14 to -24 were reported daily until Thursday (6/30) when they returned to near neutral levels +2.5. They dipped again on Saturday (7/2) to -8 and were holding as of today (7/3). Trades that were a bit stronger than normal remain near slack/dead calm in the far Western Pacific extending east to nearly the dateline. Current models suggest another spurt of enhanced trades is possible through July 12th and should be in.cgiace now, though there's no sign of it. This indicates no clear signs of an impending active phase of the MJO or neither El Nino or La Nina. Marginally warmer than normal water temperatures continue across the equatorial Pacific though.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

4th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race: On July 9 at New Brighton State Beach, Santa Cruz CA the fourth annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard race will be held in honor of a great waterman and individual. Come out and see how fast you can go on Jay's turf. Long course, short course and youth races will be held. We will make boards available if you want to try it out. Profits benefit local Junior guards. Detailed information available here:

Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here:

Stormsurf Weather Models Updated Again: Yes, we've been at it again this weekend getting another batch of weather models running. Global coverage is now provided for jetstream forecasts and surface pressure and winds. Zoomed in data is also available for such locations as the Mentawai Islands to Western Australia corridor, Tahiti, South America, Europe and Norwegian Sea. So now you can get local wind forecasts for these and more locations with one click. Take a look here:

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

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