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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 27, 2006 12:23 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 = 1.2 - California & 1.3 - 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 8/21 thru Sun 8/27
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   

Unfavorable Storm Pattern Down South
North Pacific Slumbers


On Sunday (8/27) Northern CA surf was waist to maybe chest high and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh to waist high. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were thigh high though top breaks were up to waist high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high, maybe a little more on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high with sets a little more. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high with sets occasionally head high. The East Shore was near flat.

California was near flat at most locations with just a little energy from Swell #6S still dribbling in. Swell #6S turned out to be much smaller than hoped for too, providing something to ride but not much more. Hawaii again was the best location though smaller than days past, with rideable energy still hitting the South Shore. A slack pattern is set up over most of the Pacific through a series of weak gales continue to track under New Zealand heading due east. Little bit's of energy from these systems are to push north likely having some minimal impact on Hawaii's southern shores, but not much to make it to California. Nothing in the North Pacific yet. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Sundays jetstream charts (8/27) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days. A weak trough is dipping south over the Northern Gulf of Alaska expected to hold into Tuesday then pushing into Canada, with another deeper one following behind on Friday through next weekend. But nothing real to result at the surface.

At the surface weak high pressure was in control of the Northeast Pacific centered roughly well north of Hawaii. Broad light low pressure was over the Northwest Pacific. Super Typhoon Ioke was over the dateline well to the south heading west towards the Orient. Otherwise no fetch area's capable of producing even mild windswell were present. A quiet pattern indeed. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (8/30) high pressure to get better organized in the east dropping to 1028 mbs and pushing towards North California. This to fuel the development of north winds along the coast of North and Central CA starting Tuesday building Wednesday to 25 kts generating short period junky local windswell. At the same time trades are to return to the Hawaiian Islands at 15-20 kts perhaps building a small short period windswell for east facing shores.


Super Typhoon Ioke was impressive with sustained winds 140 kt (161 mph) positioned 784 nmiles east of Wake Island and traveling roughly due east. No significant change in strength is forecast for the next 5 days with a gradual turn to the northwest expected, passing within 58 nmiles northeast of Wake on Wednesday. The models show no significant change in heading or indication this storm might curve north to northeast, putting it southeast of Japan a week out with an impressive wind field aimed at that nation. No swell generation potential for the US mainland or Hawaii.

Tropical Depression Ileana faded out on Saturday. No additional reports are being issued.


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


California Offshore Forecast
Calm winds and a slack pressure pattern to hold into Monday with no windswell of interest forecast. Then high pressure to get better organized well off the coast of extreme North California and start pushing east, with north winds on the increase north of Point Conception by Tuesday at 15 kts pushing to near 30 kts of Cape Mendocino late Wednesday with 20 kts winds nearshore further south. The gradient to peak out Thursday AM (8/31) with 30-35 kts north winds off the Cape generating solid windswell pushing south, while the windfield starts to pull away from the coast, This situation to be short lived though with the gradient fading fast on Friday, and windswell dying with it.

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


South Pacific

On Sunday (8/28) a .cgiit jetstream pattern was in effect with the northern branch flowing generally flat from north of New Zealand east into Chile with no winds over 120 kts suggested. The southern branch was doing the same thing but flowing from under New Zealand into south Chile and even weaker with winds 90 kts dipping occasionally over the Ross Ice Shelf. Antarctic Ice has built well to the north now that it is after the peak of winter down there, with it's northern boundary between 60-65S across the entire South Pacific. This limits the area of unobstructed waters to support swell production. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (8/30) no big change is forecast with only the slightest hint of a trough trying to set up under New Zealand on Wednesday with 130 kts west winds blowing over the top of that trough. This means that if anything tries to develop at the surface it's winds will likely be aimed due east towards southern Chile and not real conducive towards building swell aimed towards Hawaii or the US West Coast. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to expands slightly more to the north with winds flowing better up the troughs west side late Thursday, providing better surface support for winds pushing to the north as well. But by Friday the trough is to fade with the jet driving everything southeast over Antarctic ice. A very unfavorable pattern to continue after that with the southern branch of the jet pushing fully over the Ross Ice shelf through next weekend.

At the surface today a 948 mbs low was centered southeast of New Zealand well over the Ross Ice Shelf generating 35 kt west winds barely exposed to open waters. Theoretically 32 ft seas were being generated at 57S 180W, but that seems like a bit of a reach. Otherwise no swell producing winds were apparent. Over the next 72 hours that low to fade fast and push further over Antarctic ice, eliminating any swell generation potential. No seas from the previous days low to exist by Monday AM either. A new low is modeled to push from the Indian Ocean under New Zealand on Tuesday with pressure 948 mbs and 50-55 kt west winds pushing into the South Pacific. But again all the fetch is to aimed towards Chile limiting anything that would take a northward track towards HAwaii or the US mainland. Seas are modeled to peak at 38 ft late Tuesday. A sudden shift in the winds pattern is forecast late Wednesday with 45-50 kt southwest winds developing aimed well towards Hawaii into Thursday with 36 ft seas suggested, the fading out fast. This holds promise especially for Hawaii.


Swell #6S Note: This swell arrived much smaller than expected, in the 2.0-2.5 ft range @ 16 secs versus 3.3 ft. Looking back at the Jason-1 satellite data, it was suggesting that actual confirmed sea heights were something less than what the wave models indicated. Though there was only 2 satellite passes late in the gales life, we suspect that earlier data from the wave models was probably on the high side too, perhaps as much as 4-5 ft above reality. This would account for the big disparity between estimated and actual swell heights along the California coast, though this is only a guess and there is no way to confirm it.

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 the 2 high pressure systems in the Northeast Pacific to eventually consolidate into a single one well north of Hawaii on Monday (8/28) then drift slowly east. The Cape Mendocino gradient to start up again maybe Tuesday with 25 kt north winds providing a dribble of northwest windswell for North and Central CA. At the same time the highs are to get a bit better footing over southern waters with trades finally returning to the Hawaiian Islands, but only weakly so. By Thursday (8/31) the high to again retreat with low pressure from the Bering Sea moving into the Northern Gulf of Alaska riding over the eastern edge of the high, setting up a gradient of 25-30 kt winds aimed towards the Pacific Northwest. Still a long shot though. basically a calm pattern still in effect.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another storm is modeled under New Zealand Friday (9/1) with pressure 936 mbs and 45-50 kts winds holding for 24 hours generating generally 45 ft seas at 60S 180W all aimed due east. Sideband swell potential fro Hawaii at best. The core of this one to track over Antarctic ice and fade. No other swell producing systems forecast to follow.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

El Nino Forecast Updated: After a long hiatus since our last update (we've been heads-down building new wave models - coming soon) , we've finally dug in and did the analysis of what's going on over the Equatorial Pacific. Things are looking up some, so take a glance and get into all the details:

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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