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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 10, 2006 9:55 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   

Some Hope Down South
Windswell While We Wait


On Thursday (8/10) Northern CA surf was waist high and mushy (local windswell). South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high. Central California surf was waist high, maybe a little more. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were thigh high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high at the better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh to waist high, and that's a bit generous. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.

It's all over with no southern hemi swell left in either California or Hawaii. No immediate relief is indicated either with the southern hemi having been in a stagnant pattern for the past week. Longterm there's some hope though with a storm forecast in the deep Southeast Pacific targeting California from a rather tangent angle late this weekend and another one providing hope for both Hawaii and California Tues-Thurs of next week, though confidence not real high in either instance. At least there's something to see on the models now. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (8/10) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days.

At the surface high pressure at 1032 was positioned 1000 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino CA providing a seasonal trade wind flow over the Islands at 15-20 kts and moderate short period windswell along east facing shores. The high was also ridging west to the dateline and eastward to the California coast starting to generate the usual northerly flow focused on Cape Mendocino where winds were 25 kts. This was resulting in the production of short period windswell pushing into the North and Central coasts. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (8/13) the high is push a bit more east holding in the 1028-1032 mb range and increasing northwest winds over the Cape Mendocino area to 25-30 kts improving the potential 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 through Saturday, then starting to break up. The overall pattern can be characterized as unremarkable 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. Two storms, Bophaa and Saomai continued in the West Pacific, but neither was expected to recurve to the northeast.


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


California Offshore Forecast
High pressure in the Gulf has started generating the usual 25 kt northerly flow off Cape Mendocino producing small to moderate windswell. This pattern to continue for the foreseeable future with a bit of an increase Fri/Sat up to 30 kts then fading back to 20-25 kts, only to return Wednesday of next week to 30 kts. Generally these winds to be pushing close to the coast through early Saturday, then pulling away setting up a weak eddy flow (southwest winds) for North and Central CA late Saturday into early Tuesday, then pushing back up to the coast Wednesday. Southern CA to remain in a weak southwesterly eddy flow through the period.

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


South Pacific

On Thursday (8/10) the southern hemi jetstream remained unfavorable with the southern branch flowing basically straight east under New Zealand following the 60S latitude confining any surface level development to occur over the Ross Ice Shelf 9which terminates at 62S). It lifted gently to the north in the far Eastern Pacific but outside either the Hawaiian or California swell windows, favorable for only maybe Chile. The northern branch of the jet was more energetic but was flat and tilted south after pushing over the top of New Zealand with winds 150 kts, not favorable for storm development. Over the next 72 hours that pattern to hold in the north but a trough to open up in the southern branch Saturday east of New Zealand. This trough to actually cover a fair sized area by Tuesday, though at it's peak only 70 kts winds to be flowing up the troughs west side not providing much fuel for surface level low pressure development. That trough to be fading out Wednesday as a new ridge builds under New Zealand pushing east.

At the surface on Thursday (8/10) some form of low was trying to form in the far Southeastern but it's 35 kt fetch was aimed towards Antarctica and expected to push out of the California swell window by nightfall, not producing anything of interest. Over the next 72 hours the next swell producing candidate is modeled for late Saturday (8/12) east of the Hawaiian swell window at 140W, just off the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. Pressure to be 952 mbs with winds near 40 kts building into Sunday AM when pressure bottoms out at 944 mbs with near 50 kits winds forecast. These winds to be aimed pretty well to the east though taking a track 45+ degrees off any great circle path to California, thereby limiting swell generation capacity. This to hold through evening though covering a greater sized fetch area with 32 ft seas forecast at 62S 125W. The low to slowly spin out there Monday with 45 kt east winds continuing aimed 75+ degrees with seas 35-37 ft at 62S 122W and holding stationary. A rapid decline to set in Tuesday with all fetch aimed south and fading fast. Perhaps some decent background swell for CA a week out assuming this system forms at all.


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 centered in the Gulf of Alaska, a bit weaker at first then regrouping late Tuesday (8/15) with 30 kt north winds helping to rebuild northerly windswell along the North and Cen tral Ca coasts holding through Thursday. Because the high is to be centered rather far to the east, this to reduce the easterly tradewind fetch area over Hawaii, though still holding in the 15 kts range, resulting in somewhat reduced windswell for east facing shores from Sunday into Thursday of next week (8/17).

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the next candidate storm to form just east of New Zealand on Monday AM (8/14) with pressure 976 mbs producing 40-45 kts winds aimed due north from 50S 170W targeting locations west of Hawaii. More fetch to build late Monday into early Tuesday with 40-45 kts south winds continuing in the storm west quadrant aimed better at Hawaii up the 185 degree path with 30 kts seas forecast at 47S 161W, and seas to 35 ft in the storms north quadrant but tracking due east, 70+ degree off any great circle path to the Islands but emerging from the Tahitian swell shadow for California with sideband energy 70+ degrees off the 203 degree path to California. By nightfall all fetch (at 40 kts) to move into the gales north quadrant aimed due east through Wed AM, then fading out. Seas 39 ft Tues PM at 43S 150W out of the Hawaiian swell window but in the CA swell holding to Wed AM at 40S 143W aimed again 70+ degrees off the 196 degree path to California. this system to be gone by Wed PM 98/16). Inconsistent moderate utility class swell possible for CA and HI assuming this all comes together as forecast, which is doubtful at this time.

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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