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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 8, 2006 5:24 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   

Downward Trend Begins
No Hope in Sight


On Tuesday (8/8) Northern CA surf was thigh to waist high and mushy. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to chest high with a few stray head high sets. Central California surf was thigh to waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with rare chest high 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 waist high. The East Shore was waist to chest high.

California was seeing the tail end of Swell #5S, with still well rideable surf hitting many spots but definitely on it's way down. Hawaii was seeing the last little dribbles of Swell #5S, but that to be fading fast in the next 24 hours. Longterm the outlook remains unfavorable with no real swell energy in the water and none forecast. Yes, a little storm developed Saturday (8/5) in the Southeast Pacific offering the meagerest of hope for California but outside the Hawaiian swell window, but doubtful it will even be rideable. Another similar storm is forecast this coming weekend in the exact same area. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (8/8) 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 was positioned 1200 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii providing a seasonal trade wind flow over the Islands at 15 kts. This was generating moderate easterly windswell along east facing shores. The high was also ridging west across the dateline to Japan and east to the California coast, just starting to generate some weak northerly winds there. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (8/11) the high is start tracking east and strengthening some to 1032 mbs, increasing northwest winds along the California coast to 15 kts and up to 25-30 kts off Cape Mendocino improving the chances for windswell generation. Trades to continue unchanged over the Islands, with easterly wind remaining at 15-20 kts and small windswell generation potential continuing along easterly shores. In all a pretty uneventful pattern continuing 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 100 kts on Wednesday 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
High pressure to start moving east with northwest wind on the increase just off the coast at 15 kts pushing to 20 kts Thursday. On Friday a consolidated gradient to form over Cape Mendocino gradient to develop with core winds up there building to 30 kts while nearshore winds start dying 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 gradient to start fading Monday and Tuesday, but not out with 25 kt north winds still modeled.

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


South Pacific

On Tuesday (8/8) the southern hemi jetstream remained generally unfavorable though not as bad as a few days ago. The southern branch of the jet was flowing straight east under New Zealand over the 65S latitude pretty much confining any surface level development to occur over the Ross Ice Shelf. It lifted gently to the north in the far Eastern Pacific but there were no winds of interest there to support surface level storm development. The northern branch of the jet was much more energetic but diving hard south just east of New Zealand at 170 kts, hardly favorable for storm development. Over the next 72 hours that pattern to hold with the big push south in the northern branch to moderate and weaken. Beyond 72 hours the southern branch to all but fade out with what is left pushing over Antarctic Ice in the west and next to nothing occurring in the east. The northern branch to remain the more energetic of the two and pushing slightly south, again unsupportive of storm development.

At the surface on Tuesday (8/8) fa 976 mb low was trying to form in the Central South Pacific but only 30-35 kt winds were modeled aimed northeast, not enough to generate any seas of interest. High pressure at 1024 mbs was in control east of New Zealand ridging sha.cgiy to the south nearly impacting the Ross ice Shelf and chocking off the storm corridor pushing east from under New Zealand. Over the next 72 hours that low to deepen to 968 mb while tracking fast to the east generating a small to moderate area of 45 kts winds on the edge of the swell window Wednesday PM (8/9) with 28 ft seas before moving east and out of range of any America shore.


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 1 ft @ 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, oscillating between a point north of Hawaii and a bit closer to the Pacific Northwest coast. This to continue the usual pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino into Sunday (8/13) then the high to start moving back to the west with the commensurate decrease in north winds off the Cape expected, but not totally out, just down to the 20 kt range. Hawaii to see moderate trades holding through the period in the 15-20 kt range with the usual small to moderate windswell continuing, then starting to fade by Tuesday of next week (8/15).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours on Sunday (8/13) a storm is modeled to wrap at 130W generating 45-50 kt south winds and 32 ft seas for 48 hours pushing due north towards California (but out of the Hawaiian swell window). Some hope for swell development for California and Central America, but this seems optimistic given the upper level configuration. No other swell producing sources modeled.

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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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