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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 29, 2005 2:06 AM GMT
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 = 2.5 - 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 8/22 thru Sun 8/28
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   

California to See Windswell
S. Hemi Swell Pushing Towards Hawaii and Eventually CA


On Sunday (8/28) Northern CA surf was 2 ft or less and messy. South facing breaks were thigh high. Central California surf was waist high with some rare bigger sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with some bigger sets at the best breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high with chest high sets at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to maybe chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was waist high.

Best swell of the day was hitting Hawaii's South Shore with waves up to chest high or so. Southern hemi swell is pushing north too with the potential for some slightly better surf by Wednesday. California, especially the north coast, is fixed for some decent windswell through the week while the southern end of the state is fixed with some southern hemi swell that originated under Tahiti arriving now and holding into Monday. The Hawaiian south swell is to make it to California by the weekend as the windswell fades out. Maybe another storm is forecast under New Zealand by late in the week, but that's highly uncertain. The North Pacific has been trying, but just not there yet. See details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (8/28) at the jetstream level the only feature of interest was a moderately strong trough in the extreme eastern Gulf of Alaska with winds near 140 kts. It was tracking down the Canadian coast scheduled to push onshore over Washington on Monday. There was some suggestion that it could support surface level low pressure, but not much (animation here). Over the next 72 hours another weaker trough is forecast for the Northern Gulf of Alaska mid-week, but weak is the operative word here. Otherwise things seem to be calming down with no features of interest suggested.

At the surface on Sunday a small 1008 mb low was creeping down the Canadian coast forming a weak gradient with a much broader pool of high pressure well north of Hawaii at 1032 mbs. North winds of 25 kts were imaged in association with this gradient and likely generating some small short period windswell aimed towards the Pacific northwest and North CA. Otherwise another low was in the Bering Sea getting ready to spill southeast into the Gulf of Alaska, but likely with even weaker results than it's predecessor (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the most noticeable feature is to be the shifting of high pressure from north of Hawaii to off the California coast. This is to fire up the Cape Mendocino gradient generating brisk north winds there. Initially di.cgiaced to the south, north winds are to be over California coastal waters (Monday) eventually shifting north to the usual location of the Cape by late Tuesday and building to 30+ kts with 15 ft seas developing.

More model data here


Tropical Depression 9E (Irwin) formed on Thursday AM (8/25) just south of Manzanillo Mexico tracking west with winds 30 kts. A westward track continued with no real strengthening occurring. By Sunday (8/28) it was all but gone positioned 1000 nmiles south of San Diego CA with winds 25 kts. A continued westward track and weak winds forecast. No swell generation potential suggested.


California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (8/28) indicate strong high pressure positioned northwest of Hawaii was trying to ridge east, but hadn't quite made it to the California coast yet. Instead a rather.cgiacid pattern was still in.cgiace over the local California coastal waters, but not for long. That is to change by Monday morning as the high rushes east and weak inland low pressure builds. The difference in pressure is to generate north winds over the offshore waters. By evening 25-30 kt north winds are to cover nearly all offshore locations with short period windchop on the rise. By Tuesday (8/30) the high is to be centered 1100 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino with north winds 30-35 kts building along the coast there. Windswell on the increase. The gradient is to peak out on Wednesday (8/31) with low pressure pushing just barely off the coast, calming the local winds down while the fetch holds off the Cape at 30-35 kts. The high is to fade as low pressure builds in the Gulf of Alaska on Thursday into Friday with near.cgiacid conditions returning by the weekend.

The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.


South Pacific

Sundays (8/28) jetstream charts remained unchanged. A big ridge continued pushing under New Zealand and over the Ross Ice Shelf tracking east over Antarctica, totally shutting off the storm corridor there. The northern branch of the jet was flowing zonally (flat) west to east and was not of interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours no significant change in this pattern is suggested and no upper support for surface level storm development is suggested.

At the surface today strong high pressure at 1036 mbs was well east of New Zealand ridging southeast to Antarctic Ice and keeping a lock on the storm corridor there. A 948 mb low was well south of New Zealand generating 45-50 kt east-northeast winds, but almost all of it was over ice, with the icepack there now built well to the north after the peak of winter in the southern hemisphere. Otherwise no swell producing fetch indicated anywhere in the South Pacific (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the pattern is to remain weak with no swell producing fetch forecast.

More model data here


New Zealand Utility Class Storm
On Tuesday PM (8/23) a 952 mb storm developed south of New Zealand with winds initially confirmed at 50-55 kts over a tiny area centered at 56S 162E aimed northeast towards both Hawaii and the US West Coast. Seas were building. On Wednesday AM (8/24) winds dropped to the 40-50 kts range over the same tiny area aimed almost due north, well at Hawaii. Sea building to 36 ft centered at 56S 165E. But by the evening that fetch faded to near zero and turned it's force more to the east. Seas faded to 30 ft centered at 55S 175E and were fading fast. This system was gone by Thursday AM.The swell has a long way to travel, was generated by a tiny fetch that was short lived. Limited utility class swell possible for Hawaii and California, with Hawaii likely doing best due to it's closer proximity, but certainly nothing much. See QuikCAST's for details.



Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Sundays (8/28) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours a trough in the Gulf of Alaska is to persist, strongest on Thursday (8/1) the slowly fading as it pushes southeast into the Pacific Northwest by Sunday (8/4). Limited potential to support some surface level low pressure. Much stronger energy is modeled over the Western Pacific with winds to 150 kts, but all of it is to be ridging over the Kuril Islands spilling over the Western Aleutians. Maybe some potential from this longer-term.

Beyond 72 hours at the surface low pressure is to continue drifting south from the Gulf of Alaska towards the Pacific Northwest producing limited northwest winds at 20-25 kts, fading out by Saturday (8/3). Otherwise high pressure is to return north of Hawaii, spread out and dissipate. A slight return of trades possible for the Hawaiian Islands next weekend, but nothing of interest really.


South Pacific

Sundays upper level models (8/28) indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch is to remain unchanged. The only hope is a minor gap in the jet Friday (9/2) southeast of New Zealand pushing east, but there is no to be much wind speed to support anything at the surface.

Late Wednesday (8/31) a small but strong storm is forecast to develop in the Tasman Sea tracking southeast. 24 hours later it is forecast to drift into the South PAcific with pressure 972 mbs and winds 45-50 kts aimed northeast towards HAwaii and California. It is forecast to bloom on Friday (9/2) sitting in the tiny hole in the jetstream aloft, with pressure down to 952 mbs and winds holding but covering a much larger area. A broad area of 29 ft seas to result, providing good opportunity for utility class swell to push towards Hawaii, though likely well decayed by the time it reaches the California coast. A slow fade is expected on Saturday (9/3). No other swell producing systems forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

Rob Gilley Photgraphy: Please take amoment to check out the selection of limited print images availabe at Rob Gilleys webite. All images in the 2005 line were taken by Rob Gilley, an 19 year Surfer Magazine staff photographer, and are personally signed and numbered by him:

Proposed Senate Bill To Restrict Free Weather Data Giving it only to Private Companies for re-sell to the Public. If you view the free info from buoys, wind, and weather currently provided on this and other sites, prepare to see it end if this bill gets passed. Read more here.

Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here:

Stormsurf Weather Models Updated Again: Yes, we've been at it again this weekend getting another batch of weather models running. Global coverage is now provided for jetstream forecasts and surface pressure and winds. Zoomed in data is also available for such locations as the Mentawai Islands to Western Australia corridor, Tahiti, South America, Europe and Norwegian Sea. So now you can get local wind forecasts for these and more locations with one click. Take a look here:

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

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