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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 8, 2005 4:25 AM
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 = 1.0 - 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 7/4 thru Sun 7/10
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   

South Swell for Hawaii
Moderate South Pacific Storm Pattern Suggested


On Tuesday (7/5) Northern CA surf was waist high junky and overcast. South facing breaks were barely waist high. Central California was up to waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat with best breaks to barely waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high with best spots to chest high at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high with some bigger sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was waist high and even slightly bigger.

Generally small surf to continue for the US west coast with standout south swell spots in Southern CA providing something a little more entertaining. But Hawaii's southern shores to do best with fun sized.cgius swell expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Further out a moderate storm is traversing the South Pacific with most energy focused towards Central America. But decent energy is expected to radiate north initially towards Hawaii and then more towards California providing moderate swell. In all it should be rideable, but not over-the-top by any means. See details below...



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

North Pacific

At the jetstream level on Thursday (7/7) the jetstream was progressing about as forecast earlier in the week with a thin stretch of 110 kts winds outlined a very weak trough in the Gulf of Alaska with an even weaker ridge over the dateline (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the trough in the Gulf is to max out early Friday (7/8) with winds at 120-130 kts well off the Washington coast then pushing inland and faltering (down to 110 kts) while the ridge over the dateline fades. Minimal support for some surface level circulation at best in the Gulf.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered 800 nmiles due north of Hawaii with a mild ridge pushing over the Islands. Two weak lows were riding north over the high in the Gulf of Alaska, with the first off Washington producing some weak 20-25 kts fetch aimed best a targets north of California, while the second was well north of Hawaii with the same velocity fetch aimed east, but too far away to be effective at any swell production of interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the big high north of Hawaii is to retrograde to the west as weak low pressure takes over the Gulf. Weak westerly fetch to continue in the Gulf, but not really interesting from a swell generation perspective. Basically just moderate easterly trades for the Hawaiian Islands looking to be the best swell producer.

More model data here


California Offshore Forecast
Thursday mornings local charts (7/7) indicated moderate high pressure at 1028 mbs centered 1000 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii ridging weakly into Central California and also stretching west across the dateline. No winds off interest were off California associated with the high. A pair of weak lows were pushing through the Gulf of Alaska thanks to a building trough in the jetstream there. Northeast winds in the 20 kt range were confirmed by the QuikSCAT satellite today from the first one, but that is expected to track north and out of the picture fast. The second low is to move into position Friday and Saturday (7/9) with winds in the 20-25 kts range, still not much considering the relatively long travel distance whatever windswell is generated will have to make to reach the CA coast. Otherwise, nothing of interest forecast until next Tuesday (7/12) when high pressure is scheduled to build back in the Northeast Pacific near 1030 mbs with the Cape Mendocino gradient starting to fire up. North winds forecast there at 25-30 kts through the end of the work week and building windswell expected.

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


South Pacific

On Thursday (7/7) the jetstream charts indicated a more moderate pattern was in.cgiace, with a bit of a trough in.cgiace over the southeastern Pacific and a ridge just east of New Zealand. This was funneling energy under New Zealand and then up a gradual northeast incline as the southern branch of the jet merged with the northern branch west of Chile, and where 140 kt winds were present at the intersection (animation here). Over the next 72 hours that trough is to fade but a consolidated jetstream pattern is to develop with the north and southern branches merging. This is much more favorable for surface storm development. By Sunday (7/10) this consolidated jet is to show a reasonable trough just east of New Zealand with a moderate ridge south of Tahiti almost reaching the Ross Ice Shelf, and another trough expected just off Chile.

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs was just northeast of New Zealand while low pressure at 948 mbs was well southwest of Southern Chile. This was setting up a weak gradient between the two systems with a moderate 30 kt flow extending from just under New Zealand gently rising to the northeast focused on Peru. Minor ri.cgies in the isobars were generating 2 pockets of higher winds at 40-45 kts, but they were small and didn't add much to the overall fetch. This was actually the remnants of an earlier storm co.cgiex (see below) that did not develop as strong as initially suggested (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to take control of the East Pacific with no organized swell producing system forecast in the west.

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 Friday - 7/8).


Mid-Pacific Storm
On Tuesday (7/5) a new storm developed just east of New Zealand with pressure dropping to 972 mbs while high pressure held at 1032 mbs over Australia, setting a a gradient between the two aimed northeast. Winds were confirmed at 40 to near 50 kts over a broad area centered near 57S 162W aimed northwest generally up the 203 degree path to California and 30 degrees east of the 185 degree path to Hawaii. On Tuesday PM winds continued at 40-50 kts over a moderate area centered at 53S 156W aimed like before. Seas built to 30 ft over a small area centered at 53S 160W.

The same pattern started to break down Wednesday AM (7/6) with a moderate area of 35-40 kt winds remaining centered near 45S 147W aimed 25 degrees east of the 195 degree path to California and 70 degree off any track to Hawaii and outside their swell window. Seas were modeled 35 ft centered at 50S 150W. The gale actually expanded northeast while loosing definition Wednesday PM, with winds down to 30-40 kts centered 1800 nmiles south of Tahiti. Seas dropped to 32 ft centered at 48S 142W.

A broad but unorganized fetch of 30-45 kt west winds continued Thursday AM (7/7) and expected to hold into Friday (7/8) south of Tahiti but aimed mostly at Peru. Seas were modeled at 32 ft Thursday AM at 45S 140W dropping to 30 ft that evening at 42S 130W. A new low is to develop along this remnants of this systems front Saturday (7/9) with brief resurgence of 50 kt winds and 30 ft seas near 53S 130W, but gone by the evening.

The models are interesting with sea heights indicated higher than what one might expect based on wind speeds alone. But the fetch area (specifically length) is long on this system and is to blow over the same area of water for 108 hours (4.5 days) which accounts for the bulk of the swell generation capacity. A rather long stretch of 14-16 sec energy is suggested with peak period in the 18-19 sec range pushing well into Peru and Central America. Decent utility class swell generation potential also suggested for California and lesser energy moving north over a short window towards Hawaii from early in the storms life. Swell to arrive starting Tuesday (7/12) in Hawaii with period at 18 secs and size building, peaking the following day. Swell arriving in Southern California on Wednesday (7/13) with period at 19 secs and peaking Thursday and Friday (7/15) in the 16-17 sec range. Detail to be posted in the QuikCAST's.




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

North Pacific

Thursdays upper level models (7/7) indicated that beyond 72 hours a new ridge is forecast to start building over the dateline tracking towards the Gulf of Alaska, reaching there next Wednesday (7/13) with winds at up to 140 kts. This suggest a return of high pressure at the surface.

At the surface high pressure is to rebuild in the Northeast Pacific by Wednesday (7/13), closer to California with the usual north fetch redeveloping along the coast there and northeast winds from that fetch extending out to the Hawaiian Islands, improving the chances for windswell at both locations.


South Pacific

Thursdays upper level models (7/7) indicated that beyond 72 hours the ridge over the Central South Pacific is to travel east taking up a position off Chile while the New Zealand trough follows right behind, moving south of Tahiti and pinching off by Wednesday (7/13). The .cgiit jet pattern is to redevelop off Australia's east coast as a ridge pushes over New Zealand into the Southeastern Pacific. General ridging over most of the South Pacific is expected after that with no storm producing troughs indicated.

At the surface high pressure is forecast to take over the Central South Pacific (under New Zealand) but not ridging too far south. A 960 mb low is to track east under it Monday through Wednesday (7/13) with a consistent fetch of 40-45 kt winds aimed east-northeast producing 28-31 ft seas. Yet a stronger system.cgiaced further south is to follow. In general, a slightly improved pattern expected based on the most recent models.


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 moving back up to the -3 range on July 4-5th then holding near zero through the 7th. This suggests neutral conditions. Trades that had been a bit stronger than normal remain near slack/dead calm in the far Western Pacific extending east to nearly the dateline. Today's models (7/7) continue to suggest another spurt of enhanced trades occurring now through July 14th, though there's no sign of it. A potential active phase of the MJO is to follow starting 7/20, but that seems like a reach. At this time there were 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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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