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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 26, 2006 7:33 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 9/25 thru Sun 10/1
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   

Small S. Hemi Swell for CA
North Pacific Moves, But Not Much


On Tuesday (9/26) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and reasonably clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were barely thigh high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with a few bigger sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to near chest high occasionally. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high high with some chest high sets. The East Shore was thigh high.

One more little southwest pulse is building in California expected to peak mid-week, providing something to ride abut not a whole lot more. Hawaii was seeing the last of the southern hemi energy with a downward trend already in progress. The South Pacific is expected to go dormant with nothing down there from here on out. In the North Pacific a series of two gales have developed, but not a whole lot is expected for anywhere other than maybe Hawaii. After that high pressure is to take control, but not expected to hold for too long. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (9/26) indicated a trough over the dateline with 150 kt winds flowing up it's eastern side aimed towards the Gulf of Alaska, hinting at what's likely going on at the surface. A fading ridge was pushing inland over Canada but otherwise thins were pretty uneventful. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough to push east and pinch off Thursday in the Western Gulf with a zonal flow resulting running over the Aleutians over the width of the North Pacific not supporting surface level gale development. Beyond that the jet is to slowly sink a little further south, roughly over the 45N latitude, though no troughs or ridges of interest were suggested. No support for surface level low pressure development.

At the surface today a broad low pressure system was over the dateline (see Typhoon Nagi below) while weak high pressure was pushing into Western Canada. No trade winds or swell producing gradients of interest were in.cgiay. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (9/29) high pressure to push off Siberia following close behind Nagi reaching the dateline on late Thursday with pressure 1028 mbs then getting elongated to the northeast and getting sucked into the Gulf of Alaska and becoming less of a force. Extratropical low pressure to develop right behind that over Japan pushing north-northeast reaching the Aleutians and tracking into the Bering Sea late Friday before reaching the dateline. Limited 30-35 kts winds to blow over the Northwest Pacific, but not holding in any one.cgiace long enough to generate seas of interest. No notable trade winds or gradient winds over Hawaii or California either, resulting in locally calm conditions.

Gulf Gale
On Sunday (9/24) a broad but weak low pressure system tried to organize just east of the dateline and well south of the Aleutians at 996 mbs. A small fetch of 30 kts northwest winds were in it's southwestern sector aimed a bit east of Hawaii and too far away from California to be of use. By Sunday evening this low dropped to 992 mbs with a better fetch of 30-35 kt north winds and up to 19 ft seas targeting Hawaii. Monday the low held with up to 40 kt winds over a tiny area still targeting Hawaii from the Gulf of Alaska. A brief fetch of 35-40 kt winds also targeted California into early Tuesday with 19 ft seas developing right before the low dissipated in the Gulf.

Limited swell expected to push in to Hawaii's Northern Shores Wednesday (9/27) reaching 3.7 ft @ 12-13 secs late (4.0-4.5 ft faces) from 330 degrees fading early Thursday. Limited swell to also push into North California late Friday (9/29) peaking early Saturday with swell 2.9 ft @ 11 secs (3 ft faces) from 295 degrees.


Extratropical Typhoon Nagi
The extratropical remnants of Typhoon Nagi tracked east off Japan late Sunday (9/24) with a tiny area of 40-45 kts west winds developing in the lows south quadrant targeting Hawaii as it merged with a small cold core low tracking east off the Kuril Islands. On Monday (9/25) AM the tiny fetch at 40-45 kts continued while lifting northeast, still well west of the dateline but was tracking northeast too fast to get any real traction on the oceans surface. In the evening that tiny fetch built to 50 kts pushing up to the dateline at 47N 177E aimed well north of any path to Hawaii and targeting California up the 303 great circle. By Tuesday AM pressure dropped to 980 mbs as the low moved over the dateline with wrap around fetch from the storm north quadrant moving into the west quadrant and targeting Hawaii from 50N 175E up the 331 great circle path and 40 kts winds in the south quadrant targeting California like before. Seas were finally building from 23 ft. In the evening a broader area of 40 kts winds to continue to be aimed at both Hawaii and California, but broader is a relative term with the total fetch still being small. Seas building to 23 ft aimed at Hawaii and 28 ft aimed at California from 46N 180W. The fetch to push east into Wednesday AM (9/27) with winds fading from 35-40 kts and over a shrinking area just east of the dateline. Seas building to 30 ft at 45N 175W focused mainly on California. By evening this system to be gone with 25 ft seas from previous days fetch starting to decay while pushing southeast. In total this to be a small storm with most fetch aimed east, but since it is closer to Hawaii, swell decay will have less effect and decent rideable surf should hit the Islands. Conversely California will be 2600 nmiles away from this storm, so swell decay will take it's toll resulting in smaller but longer period swell.

Current forecast data suggest some decent rideable swell pushing into Hawaii late Friday (9/29) peaking early Saturday with swell 4.7 ft @ 13 secs (5-6 ft faces). Dribbles into exposed breaks in North California late Sunday (10/1) with swell 3.7 ft @ 14 secs (4-5 ft faces). Will post more accurate data once confirmed seas heights are obtained.


Typhoon Xangsane was positioned just east of the Philippines and expected to track west into that region. no swell generation potential for Hawaii or the US mainland.

No other tropical systems of interest were being monitored.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (9/26) a weak pressure pattern was preset off the coast with light winds in control (less than 15 kts). No change forecast through Monday (10/2). Then on Tuesday a 1024 mb high to start pushing east setting up 15-20 kts winds just off the North and Central coasts, but not reaching nearshore. Still, it should be enough to generate a fair amount of nearshore lump in whatever swell is present.


South Pacific

On Tuesday (9/26) a steep ridge in the southern branch of the jetstream was pushing hard to the south just beyond New Zealand tracking well over the the Ross Ice Shelf and into Antarctica not lifting north until 130W, mostly out of the California swell window and totally shutting down the Hawaiian swell window. No change is forecast with the ridge moderating some over time but then being reinforced by a new ridge building under New Zealand over the coming weekend.

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. Residual energy from this system is to be decaying through Tuesday (9/26) in Hawaii 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 reorganized east of New Zealand on Tuesday into a closed isobar low, but faded before any winds of interest develop. Seas were 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. Swell to be mixed with the results from the gale documented above.

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 low pressure to remain isolated to the Bering Sea through Tuesday (10/3) with only sporadic bits of 35 kt fetch briefly dipping south of the Aleutian Islands and not enough to generate swell producing seas. High pressure at 1024 mbs is to set up between California and Hawaii early next week generating 15 kts trades over the Hawaiian Islands and about the same along California. No rideable windswell to result, just surface bump.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing storms or gales forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

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

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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