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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 16, 2007 8:51 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 = 0.25 - California & 2.0 - 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 8/13 thru Sun 8/19
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   

Southwest Pacific to Stir
Previously Forecast Systems Disappear from Charts


On Thursday (8/16) Northern CA surf was waist high and weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was thigh high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with some bigger sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high with bigger sets at the top spots. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California was only seeing a faint whiff of local windswell. Southern California was getting a bit of locally generated windswell from off pt Conception at only the most exposed breaks. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore with easterly windswell on the East Shore. The South Shore was getting wrap-around easterly windswell and maybe a touch of fading southeast swell from what was Hurricane Flossie. The North Pacific was calm with no large scale weather systems in.cgiay. High pressure was generating soft tradewind forced windswell along Hawaii's Eastern Shores and less down the California coast. The South Pacific remained in hibernation with no real change forecast. A little swell was pushing north from just off the coast of Chile good for energy pushing into Central America on up into exposed breaks in Southern CA by early next week. But nothing else of interest was on the charts. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (8/16) for the North Pacific indicated a weak trough off the Pacific Northwest and another off the Kuril Islands reaching to the dateline, but winds in both were barely 100 kts and only in one tiny area each, not capable of supporting a large scale circulation at the oceans surface. Over the next 72 hours the trough over the dateline is to build some while pushing east trying to spill over into the Gulf of Alaska. It's to move into that regions with limited success on Sunday (8/19) resulting in a weak trough extending from the Western Gulf on into Canada with winds in the 100 kt range flowing under it. Very modest support for low pressure development there at best. The Gulf trough to hold into Tuesday (8/21) before starting to erode. Two ridges to start building in behind, one off the Kuril Islands and another in the Gulf, pretty much ending whatever little potential there was previously.

Note: We've made a major upgrade to our jetstream forecast models. They now includes topographic landmasses with the jet flowing over it. As before, wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. Take a look here:( NPac, SPac )

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs remained centered north of Hawaii with weak low pressure off the Kuril Islands at 100 mbs and also in the extreme northeast Gulf of Alaska at 1008 mbs. The high was generating 20 kt easterly trades over the Hawaiian Islands generating weak short period windswell along easterly shores there. It was also ridging into the Pt Conception area of California generating 25 kt northwest winds there and making for small windswell into Southern CA and Baja. The low in the Gulf was forming a weak gradient with the high to it's south, generating a small fetch of 20 kt onshore winds targeting North CA and Oregon too, with minimal windswell generation potential the result. But overall things were quiet. Over the next 72 hrs through Sunday (8/19) the Kuril Island low is to track northeast into the Bering Sea with fetch dangling south into the North Pacific generating 30 kt northwest winds and maybe 16-20 ft seas over the western Gulf of Alaska Friday-Sunday. But odds very low that any of that energy to reach anywhere south of maybe Oregon, and then it will only look like windswell.


On Thursday (8/16) Tropical Storm Flossie was downgraded to tropical depression status positioned well southwest of Kauai and fading while tracking due west. It to dissipate in 48 hours or less.

Super Typhoon Sepat was just northeast of the northern Philippines heading northwest right for Taiwan with sustained winds 135 kts (155 mph). It is expected to continue this path.cgiowing right into central Taiwan on early Friday morning with winds down a little to 125 kts, then weakening while pushing into mainland China thereafter. No swell generation potential suggested for our forecast area suggested.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (8/16) high pressure well out at sea north of Hawaii was ridging into Pt Conception while weak low pressure was off Oregon. 20-25 kt northerly winds were pushing from Pt Conception towards Southern California and Baja generating small short period windswell for those locales. But the fetch was not reaching the coast, resulting in a light winds flow nearshore. No fetch of interest was over Northern CA. This same pattern to hold through the weekend, though weakening a bit Saturday and almost gone Sunday. Calmness to follow Monday (8/20) as high pressure fades more, then starts rebuilding Tuesday with northerly winds on the increase over all of Central and North CA. Local chop and bump building, though not too bad. Wednesday 20 kts winds to cover the area north of Pt Conception with bumpy conditions on the increase, then focusing more on the Cape Mendocino area by Thursday (8/23). Local winds lightening up some then with windswell on the increase.


South Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (8/16) for the South Pacific remained unfavorable with the southern branch of the jet sweeping well south scouring the Ross Ice Shelf then moving east and further south towards the southern tip of Chile. It's entire flow was over ice. No support for surface level low pressure development suggested. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (8/19) hints of a trough are to finally try and start developing in the far Southeastern Pacific Fri-Sat but still limited much in it's extent northward. And by Sunday it's to be totally east of even the California swell window. No real support for low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours a massive ridge to build over the Southeast Pacific pushing well over Antarctica (not ice but over land) totally suppressing any hoe there. A trough is forecast to develop just southeast of New Zealand by late Tuesday (8/21) almost making it north of the Ross Ice Shelf continuing into Thursday. Northeast winds 120 kts forecast pushing up the west side of this trough, providing some decent support for surface level low pressure development aimed towards Hawaii and the US mainland.

At the surface today high pressure at 1036 mbs was east of New Zealand pushing south with another equally strong high over Southern Chile. Low pressure at 960 mbs was in between and di.cgiaced well to the south while trying to organize with 35-40 kt easterly winds developing aimed at best towards Peru. no other fetch of interest was indicated. Over the next 72 hours that low to develop a tiny fetch of 50 kts winds starting Friday at 60S 130W on the edge of the California swell window tracking east fast, expected to be east of the window by Saturday morning (8/18). 30-32 ft seas forecast near 60S 120W for 12 hours. next to no swell generation potential forecast.

On Saturday (8/18) a second fetch to build in the same area, but this one much larger with 50 kts winds near 60S 132W late aimed 35 degrees east of the 185 degree great circle path to California, but well outside the Hawaiian swell window. Like before this fetch to track fast to the east and be out of the swell window by mid-day Sunday. 38 ft seas forecast right before it moves out of the swell window Sunday at 58S 118W providing very limited swell potential relative to mostly Southern CA. Based on the jetstream charts, will believe it when it happens.


Chile Storm (Southern CA)
Also a little storm formed just off Chile Saturday-Monday (8/13) generating up to 50-55 kts winds aimed due north over a moderate size fetch area and producing 30-35 ft seas confirmed by the QuikSCAT satellite in the vicinity of 53-40N and 95-105W. These seas were much higher than what the Wavewatch III wavemodel would have one believe. This one was well outside the traditional California swell window but some energy is likely traveling on that due north path and will likely wrap into breaks in southern California with good southeast exposure. Swell arrival expected late Sunday (8/19) at 1.6 ft @ 18 secs (2.5 ft faces) building to 2.3 ft @ 16 secs Monday (3.5-4.0 ft faces). swell fading Tuesday from 2.3 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 165 degrees


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 low pressure in the northern Gulf to slowly fade out through Monday (8/20) while high pressure that has been locked north of Hawaii for 2 weeks or more to finally get dislodged and start moving east by Tuesday. trades to start fading over the Hawaiian Islands Wednesday as the high moves east while the usual pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino starts to build, with surface winds responding in-kind, reaching 25-30 kts late in the day and holding into Thursday (8/230 with windswell building along exposed breaks in Central CA. No other swell sources projected.

A relatively strong low previously forecast off Oregon this weekend has totally faded from the charts.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate more low pressure developing in the far Southeast Pacific, but all outside even the Southern CA swell window and aimed well to the east at that.

Now it's time for another tease by the models: The latest run suggests low pressure forming in the developing upper trough under New Zealand Monday (8/20) with 45-50 kts winds building late at the oceans surface at 55S 165E. These winds to push northeast right up the southern coast of New Zealand early Tuesday with 40 ft seas forecast at 52S 172E in the morning fading to 39 ft at 49S 180W late. Additional 40 kts winds to follow Wednesday (8/22) generating reinforcing the original fetch with 30 ft seas continuing at 46S 172W early and 29 ft at 45S 165W late. Yet more 35 kts fetch and 30 ft seas to continue in this area pushing northeast on Thursday. It all looks great with good energy pushing towards Hawaii and the US West Coast (and not shadowed by Tahiti). But it's a very long ways away and given the models recent performance, odds are nonexistent of it actually occurring.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit Submit online at

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" Check it out here:

Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists.

New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.

Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here:

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here:

Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here:

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way! .xml

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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