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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 6, 2006 7:11 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 = 4.1 - California & 2.5 - 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 8/7 thru Sun 8/13
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   

Swell #5S Hits CA
Downward Slide Coming


On Sunday (8/6) Northern CA surf was waist high with a light onshore texture. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to chest high with head high sets building to 2 ft overhead in the afternoon and clean. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high on the sets at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with up to head high sets at the better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with 1 ft overhead sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was 1-2 ft overhead and clean. The East Shore was chest high.

California was seeing the start of Swell #5S which is still pushing significant class waves into Hawaii as of Sunday. This has been a very good run of surf so far with Swell #4 providing great ripable waves to many locations since last Thursday, and now the next swell is queued up and starting to build. Hawaii was seeing the later half of the core of Swell #5S, with favorable conditions too. This swell to hold on for another day, then fade out. California to see a continuation of well rideable surf into Tuesday, then the big decline begins as Swell #5 fades out. Longterm the outlook remains unfavorable with no real swell energy in the water other than a little storm that developed Saturday in the Southeast Pacific offering the meagerest of hope for California and nothing for Hawaii. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Sundays jetstream charts (8/6) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days.

At the surface high pressure at 1028 had retrograded west some and was centered 900 nmiles north of Hawaii providing a somewhat enhanced trade winds flow over the Hawaiian Islands at 20 kts. This was generating moderate easterly windswell along east facing shores. The high was also ridging west across the dateline to nearly Japan and east to just off the California coast, but not enough to generate any northerly winds there, which was a good thing. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (8/9) the high is to drift a little to the north but otherwise hold it's position and strength continuing trades over the Islands, down just a little to the 15-20 kts range with a somewhat reduced propensity for windswell development and perhaps providing just a hint of northerly flow along the California coast by Wednesday (10-15 kts). In all a pretty uneventful pattern though with no suggestion of any extratropical storms migrating from the Orient east towards the Gulf of Alaska.

No tropical system were occurring in the East or Central Pacific. Three storms, Bopha, Maria and Saomai were occurring the the West with Saomia being the most energetic, expected to reach 105 kts before pushing into China on Thursday. No indications than any of these will recurve to the northeast taking a track towards the Gulf of Alaska.


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


California Offshore Forecast
Calm winds i.cgiay over the California coast with high pressure di.cgiaced to the west a bit through early Tuesday. But then the high starts moving east with north winds building along and just off the coast to the 15 kt range Wednesday pushing to 20 kts Thursday. Finally Friday the usual Cape Mendocino gradient starts to develop with core winds up there building to 30 kts and the nearshore winds starting to die from Pt Reyes southward to Pt Conception. Saturday north windswell to be in control with decent nearshore conditions holding through Sunday, but possibly turning more to the southwest as an eddy flow develops.

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


South Pacific

On Sunday (8/6) the southern hemi jetstream was not favorable to surface level storm development with energy flowing due south straight into the core of Antarctica over the Central Pacific. To the north the northern branch was energetic with 3 pockets of winds energy in the 150 kts range, but undercut by the poor flow pushing into Antarctica. Over the next 72 hours that southward push to fade, only to be r.cgiaced by a new ridge building under New Zealand and sweeping east driving everything south over Antarctic Ice. Beyond 72 hours the only hope is a small weak ineffective trough that's forecast to set up under New Zealand next weekend, and given it's weak state, nothing to come from it either.

At the surface on Sunday (8/6) faint remnants of Saturdays gale remained in the far Southeastern Pacific while another low was positioned just northwest of it, sinking south. Nothing was under New Zealand or the Southwest Pacific. Over the next 72 hours a 968 mb low is to form Wednesday (8/9) on the eastern edge of the California swell window generating a small undefined area of 40 kts winds then quickly moving east and out of range of any America shore.


Storm #5S - Hawaii
A secondary kink in the isobars from the fading remnants of Storm #3S (above) developed southeast of New Zealand on Friday (7/28) regenerating confirmed 40-45 kt southwest winds near 52S 166W. These winds were aimed 20 degrees east of the 185 degree path to Hawaii (not bad) and right up the 205 degree path to California but totally shadowed by Tahiti. They were getting good traction on the already well-agitated ocean surface generating 30 ft seas Friday AM at 53S 170W best suited for Hawaii. In the evening the system tracked slowly east with winds confirmed at the same speed repositioned at 47S 162W and aimed 40 degrees east of the 182 degree path to Hawaii but well at California up the 205 degree path but still totally shadowed by Tahiti. 32 ft seas were modeled at 50S 165W. A closed 968 mb low was in.cgiace Saturday AM but the bulk of the winds had faded, down to 35 kts roughly centered at 44S 147W aimed northeast targeting California up the 197 degree path and unshadowed but east of the Hawaii swell window. 35 ft seas were modeled at 45S 157W emerging into the clear for California (203 degree path). But the Jason-1 satellite made a pass directly over the fetch and only reported seas of 29-31 ft there, with a similarly weak report 6 hours later. Seas were modeled fading to 30 ft at 43S 148W in the evening though all fetch of interest had dissipated.

On Sunday (7/30) a small core of 40-45 kts winds were modeled to redevelop at 52S 145W aimed right up the 195 degree path to California (unobstructed) continuing in the the evening. A tiny area of 30 ft seas to result at 50S 140W building to 32 ft in the evening. This system to effectively fizzle out over the day Monday with lingering 32 ft seas modeled at 45S 135W (189 degree path to California).

This storm poses two problems, neither helpful to whatever swell might arrive in California. First off the Tahitian swell shadow will certainly take a good whack off any size this one produces during it's early life when it was strongest. Secondly the Jason-1 satellite reading suggest the model well overstated sea heights, another negative factor. Conversely Hawaii was free and clear of any obstruction so whatever this storm produces will reach the South Shore unimpeded. Since no satellite passes occurred early in the storms life, we're forced to go with the WW-3 estimates, but there is much uncertainty as to their accuracy for Hawaii, which means the resulting surf forecast could be on the high side. Be forewarned. All that said, we're projecting a small significant class swell push into Hawaii with moderate utility class energy for California.

South California: Expect swell arrival Sunday (8/6) with swell building to 3 ft @ 17 secs late (4.5-5.0 ft faces and inconsistent). Swell continuing Monday (8/7) at 3 ft @ 15-16 secs (5.0-5.5 ft faces) dropping to 3 ft @ 14-15 secs Tuesday (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Swell Direction 200-205 degrees Note: Plan on something less than what is forecast due to inconsistencies between confirmed Jason-1 satellite sea height data and what was depicted by the WW3 wavemodel.

North California: Expect swell arrival Sunday (8/6) with swell building to 3 ft @ 17 secs late (4.5-5.0 ft faces and inconsistent). Swell peaking Monday (8/7) with swell 3.6 ft @ 16 secs (5.0-5.5 ft faces) fading from 3.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.5 ft faces) Tuesday (8/6). Swell Direction 200-205 degrees Note: Plan on something less than what is forecast due to inconsistencies between confirmed Jason-1 satellite sea height data and what was depicted by the WW3 wavemodel.


Southeastern Pacific Gale
On Friday AM (8/4) a 976 mb low started to form in the Southeast Pacific generating a small fetch of 45-50 kt winds by evening aimed north from 50S 138W up the 189 degree path to California but no fetch aimed towards Hawaii. That low held through Saturday AM with 45-50 kt south winds at 47S 135W aimed towards CA up the 188 degree path then fading fast by evening with only a tiny area of residual 40 kts winds remaining. 29 ft seas had ramped up by Saturday AM at 48S 135W building to near 30 ft in the evening at 45S 130W, then faded. Some tiny 16-17 sec period utility swell expected to result for California starting Sunday (8/13).

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 hours high pressure to continue in the East Pacific, stating to push east on Thursday (8/10) towards the Pacific Northwest with north winds on the increase along the coast from Pt Conception un into British Columbia. The usual pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino to start organizing by Friday with 30 kt north winds forecast there and windswell for North and Central CA on the increase, holding at least through the end of next weekend. Moderate trades to hold over the Hawaiian Islands through the period perhaps bumping up to the near 20 kt range by Saturday with slightly enhanced windswell expected along eastern shores.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a nice storm to wrap up just off the coast of Chile producing 50-55 kt winds 42 ft seas, but that to be well outside the swell window for California. Good for large surf for Peru though. Otherwise a weak and none productive pattern forecast for the greater South Pacific.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

2006 Wave of Compassion: The 2006 Wave of Compassion is a sweepstakes style fundraiser for SurfAid International; a non-profit humanitarian aid organization on a mission to improve the health of pe.cgie living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. This October, one grand-prize winner and guest will go on an all expense paid surf/cultural boat trip to the Mentawai Islands and North Sumatra. The Wave of Compassion trip is a chance to raise awareness and funds. Through the support of Surfline, Indies Trader Marine Adventures, FUEL TV, Reef, Jedidiah, Cobian, Anarchy Eyewear, Wave Riding Vehicles, Kandui Resort, Saraina Koat Mentawai, and a many other supporters, Wave of Compassion's ultimate goal is to raise $250,000 for SurfAid International. If you're interested, you have have until September 1st to enter. There's a suggested donation of $10 - but donating more increases the odds of winning the grand prize, or other prizes. Learn more at the Wave of Compassion website:

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

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

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

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