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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 21, 2006 10:07 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 = 3.0 - California & 3.5 - 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 9/18 thru Sun 9/24
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   

More Moderate S. Hemi Swell
North Pacific Might Awaken


On Thursday (9/21) Northern CA surf was head high to a little overhead at north facing breaks with a light to moderate onshore flow. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high coming from the south and the north and a bit mixed up. Central California surf was chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with best spots having sets chest to near head high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest to head high with some bigger sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were shoulder to head high with 1 ft overhead sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was near chest high.

More southwest swell to continue for both Hawaii and California providing some decent underpinnings through mid-next week. North windswell to increase in California too for Friday into early Saturday, then fading out completely providing a clean slate for the remaining southern hemi swell into next week. But of most interest is the modeled development of 2 lows in the North Pacific early next week, with the second of the pair now suggested to make storm status while pushing into the Gulf of Alaska. This could be the official start of our Fall Season.See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (9/21) indicated 130 kt flow pushing generally just south of the Aleutians with no defined troughs and a big ridge in the eastern Gulf of Alaska outlining the Alaskan and Canadian coasts. In short, no support for storm development. That ridge to push in land though with a nice trough starting to take shape over the dateline Sunday (9/24) with 130 kts winds pushing down it western flank tracking into the Gulf of Alaska early Wednesday and pinching off but providing decent support for surface level gale development before then. And yet a stronger trough to develop on the dateline Tuesday pushing towards the Gulf but with most energy in the bottom to the southeast part of the trough to 150 kts (suggesting surface fetch flowing flat east to southeast) pushing into the Gulf Thursday (9/28). This all looks most promising, and rather abrupt. this will certainly have us refocus our forecasting efforts northward from here on out.

Today at the surface high pressure at 1032 mbs was off the US west coast pushing northeast trying to build a gradient and north winds over Cape Mendocino, but still not quite there yet. This high was also producing enhanced trades and small windswell along Hawaii's eastern shore. Weak low pressure was in the Northern Gulf of Alaska riding over the high producing a limited fetch all aimed towards Alaska. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (9/24) the high pressure system to be the focus generating a tight gradient off the Cape (CA) producing 35-40 kt north winds there and generating a solid bit of local windswell radiating into North and Central CA for Friday into Saturday (10-11 sec period). But as the high lifts north trades over the Hawaiian Islands to fade with the east windswell there fading by late Friday. But beyond this things are to get quite interesting if one is to believe the models (see Long Term Forecast).


Super Typhoon Yagi remained a most solid storm on Thursday with winds 140 kts (161 mph) positioned just southeast of Iwo Jima and expected to make a near hit over the island this evening. A slow but steady recurveture to the north is expected Friday and Saturday turning northeast and missing Japan while fading and turning extratropical. Yagi to be tracking almost due east by Monday with winds down to 45 kts and merging with low pressure pushing off Siberia (see North Pacific Long Term Forecast).


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (9/21) high pressure at 1032 mbs was 750 nmiles off North California tracking northeast and providing a increasing northerly flow over waters from Pt Arena northward. By Friday a full bore gradient is to be in.cgiace off Cape Mendocino with winds 35-40 kts holding till about 10 PM. This to result in sizeable moderate period north windswell (10-11 secs) along the North and Central coasts Friday into early Saturday. Local winds to remain a bit stronger than usual from the through Friday (mostly North CA) making for rather poor conditions. Then Saturday the high to push inland over Canada while the low pressure that is feeding the gradient inland pushes off the coast, setting up a weak eddy (southerly winds) then through Sunday. A light wind regime to continue through Thursday of next week.


South Pacific

On Thursday (9/21) a .cgiit jet stream pattern and a weak flow in both branches was in control with no troughs or features capable of supporting surface level gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (9/24) no change is forecast. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast, with the only exception being a weak trough in the far southeast part of the California swell window possible, but no energy of interest to be supporting it.

At the surface today no swell producing fetch was evident. Over the next 72 hours no change is suggested.


Assorted Activity Under New Zealand
On Thursday (9/14) a gale was under New Zealand with winds confirmed at 40-45 kts but only covering a small area and aimed all due east, well beyond any path heading north to Hawaii and way too far away to have any impact on California. It was gone on Friday but not before producing 6 hours of 37 ft seas under New Zealand, then rapidly fading. A second gale followed right behind on Saturday but it moved over the southern tip of New Zealand breaking the fetch up. 38 ft seas pushed under the southern Tasman Sea, but were gone before ever pushing into exposed waters of the South Pacific. This to result in more utility class swell for Hawaii starting Friday (9/22) peaking Sat/Sun with swell 3 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft faces but up to 5.5 ft at top breaks) then decaying through Tuesday (9/26) in combination with the swell indicated below. This swell to also produce some energy into California starting late Sunday (9/24) peaking Tues/Wed with swell 3 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.5 ft faces - up to 5.5 ft faces at top breaks) decaying through Friday.


One Last Fetch
On Sunday a gale was passing under New Zealand with winds to 40 kts by the evening push steadily to the northeast through Monday (9/18), then eventually reorganizing east of New Zealand on Tuesday into a closed isobar low, but fading before any winds of interest develop. Seas modeled at 30 ft Monday AM at 50S 175E pushing east reaching 31 ft Monday night at 48S 170W then fading from 30 ft Tuesday AM at 50S 160W. Background swell for Hawaii a week out just mixing with other small residual swell.

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 models suggest possible good changes ahead. Starting Sunday (9/24) a broad area of low pressure is to develop over the dateline at 998 mbs tracking east. Winds building to 35 kts aimed towards Hawaii and California. This to hold into Monday lifting northeast with 20 ft seas developing until the low pushes over the Aleutians near the point they join Alaska. For the most part this is just a primer gale, helping to rough up the surface of the ocean but not doing much else.

Then on Tuesday (9/26) the extratropical remnants of Super Typhoon Yagi (having passed Japan without impacting it) to be joined by energy pushing off Siberia. This reconstituted low to hit the dateline Tuesday with pressure dropping to 968 mbs while a broad fetch of 50-55 kt winds starts developing with a core to 65 kts aimed directly at Hawaii pushing towards California. The low to continue into the Gulf of Alaska on Wednesday with 55-60 kts winds aimed directly at California then fading while pushing into Alaska early Thursday. Seas to 45 ft early Thursday but aimed mostly towards Vancouver Island and locations north of there, but decent energy could radiate south into Hawaii and more to California. This is only a tease right now, but worth monitoring.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing storms or gales forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

Oregon Shark Attack - Here's a first hand account and pictures (somewhat graphic) of a recent shark attack in Oregon. Tom (the victim) is recovering well. We wish him and his family the best of luck - Oregon Shark Attack

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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