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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 28, 2005 4:00 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 = 3.0 - 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 9/26 thru Sun 10/2
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   

Gale in Gulf
Storm Forecast South


Were running short of time tonight so only critical area's have been updated (see red 'Updated' indicators below).

On Sunday (9/25) Northern CA surf was chest to shoulder high with light offshore's early. South facing breaks were waist high with chest high sets. Central California surf was waist to chest high. 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 to chest high with sets to head high at the very best spots. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with head high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was up to waist high. The East Shore was shoulder high from the remnants of Hurricane Jova.

Small but quite rideable swell for all locations today, though from different sources. North California still had decent sized windswell and clean conditions, Southern California was getting the tail end of some southern hemi swell, and Hawaii was getting swell from Jova. In all it made for something fun to ride, and that's certainly better than nothing at all. Two big things are on our watch list for the week. First up a gale in the Gulf of Alaska on Tuesday has been on the charts for days now, and is still expected. This could provide some decent surf for late in the week going into the early weekend for North and Central CA. And down south a rather potent storm is on the charts starting Wednesday south of New Zealand. It' s kinda late in the season, but a solid swell could result. See details below...


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

North Pacific

On Sunday (9/25) at the jetstream level the same old flat flow in effect tracking from west to east just south of the Aleutian Islands with two pockets of stronger energy positioned over the dateline and in the eastern Gulf of Alaska. The dateline pocket had winds of 160 kts and was of most interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the dateline pocket is to dip south while moving into the Gulf of Alaska with 150 kt winds feeding into it, peaking on Tuesday (9/27). This looks capable of support something at the surface. By Wednesday the jet is to start lifting a little north in the Gulf reducing the space available for storm formation south of the Aleutians, though a rather healthy flow is still expected over the entire North Pacific. Things are slowly improving.

Updated: At the surface on Tuesday AM (9/27) a thin area of high pressure at 1024 mbs continued off California, but was being heavily undercut by building low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska. The high pressure system was still generating northeast trades over the Hawaiian Islands at 20 kts generating some degree of easterly windswell there, but the low in the Gulf was of most interest. In the morning it had pressure at 971 mbs with west winds confirmed in it's south quadrant at 40 to near 50 kts centered near 50N 162W aimed right down the 309 degree path to North California. Seas were modeled at 21 ft centered at 48N 164W (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the low in the Gulf is to remain the main area of interest. On Tuesday night pressure is to drop to 968 mbs as the low tracks east over the Aleutians with decent fetch continuing in it's south quadrant positioned over the open waters of the North Pacific. Winds forecast at 40-45 kts aimed east centered at 50N 158W pushing down the 308 degree path to North CA with seas 29 ft at the same area. A steady weakening to settled in by Wednesday AM (9/28) with winds down to 35 kts with seas holding at 29 ft centered at 52N 150W generated for the previous days fetch. By the evening this system is to be rapidly decaying. On Thursday (9/29) persistent fetch of 30-35 kts is expected in the Gulf near 52N 155W aimed down the 309 degree path to California with 21 ft seas continuing at 52N 145W on the north most edge of the North Ca swell window (315 degrees). Varying degrees of 25 kt winds and 15 ft seas expected to continue in the Gulf through the weekend ensuring a long tail of moderate to short period windswell on the back end of this swells initial push. Given the rather extreme north angle, not too much expected to wrap into Southern CA. Some sideband energy to wrap in to Oahu'ss North Shore.

Rough data suggest swell arrival in North CA starting Friday afternoon (9/30) with period 16 secs and size pushing up. maxing at sunset with swell maybe 7 ft @ 15 secs (8-10 ft faces). Swell holding well into Saturday (10/1) with swell 7 ft @ 13 secs early (7-8 ft faces) fading slowly through the day. Residual energy to continue into Sunday.

More model data here


California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (9/25) indicated high pressure continued at 1032 mbs in the southern Gulf of Alaska ridging east towards Washington and generating north winds off Cape Mendocino at 25-30 kts and north windwell off the coast of California. A quick decay to set in on Monday (9/26) with windswell heading down fast. At this time no windswell expected through Wednesday (9/28) with only a brief return possible starting Thursday (9/29). Pesty north winds to become an issue locally Friday and Saturday. In general, local windswell is not to be a significant swell source.

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


(updated Sunday AM 9/25)

Hurricane Kenneth
just won't give up. We wrote him off 3 days ago then he regained strength and is tracking east today with 65 kt winds positioned 900 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Current data (for what it's worth) suggest Kenneth to continue a very slow track west, then fading on Wednesday (9/28) to tropical Storm status and heading down from there. By Friday (9/30) Kenneth to be a tropical depression positioned 250 nmiles east of the Big Island. Given this track some degree of easterly windswell is likely for the northeast shorts of most Islands near the weekend, but it's really too early to know with any certainty.

Hurricane Jova has dissipated north of the Hawaiian Islands with no swell producing fetch left.

Tropical Storm Norma was positioned just south of the island of Socorro (south of Baja) with sustained winds 45 kts. She is to track northwest and fade over the next 48 hours with no swell generation potential forecast.


South Pacific

Sunday's (9/25) jetstream charts indicated a very weak pattern in.cgiace over the entire South Pacific with no indication of any support for storm development at the surface(animation here). Over the next 72 hours a bit of a resurgence in the southern branch of the jet is forecast with a trough forecast southeast of New Zealand though winds in this trough to only be in the 11 kt range. Weak potential at the surface.

At the surface today a benign pattern remained in.cgiace with neither any strong high or low pressure systems in control (animation here). Updated: Over the next 72 hours a progressive pattern of weak lows is forecast under New Zealand tracking northeast. Finally on Wednesday (9/28) a solid one is forecast at 960 mbs producing a broad fetch of 35-40 kt winds with imbedded winds to 45 kts aimed northeast. Seas building to 30 ft centered near 49S 172W. By Thursday (9/29) the system is to max out with pressure down to 940 mbs with 2 cores. This is to be it's undoing though, with the eastern most core stealing energy from the western one (where all the fetch aimed north is to be). Still some degree of 45-50 kt winds are to be centered at 48S 162W aimed northeast with seas forecast to 37 ft centered at 46S 168W. These winds are to be aimed towards California up the problematic 205-208 degree path, and well up the 185-187 degree path to Hawaii. A quick decay to settle in on Friday (9/30) with the eastern storm core diving south and directing any remaining wind energy towards Antarctica. At this time some decent swell is expected to radiate north, with Hawaii and Tahiti getting the lions share of the swell. The issue with California is that Tahiti is to be sitting right in the middle of the swell window, having some degree of shadowing affect on the resulting swell, especially true for the Northern half of the state. This to be no issue for Hawaii though. But it's really way too early to make any firm pronouncements seeing how this system hasn't even formed yet. Will monitor.

More model data here



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

North Pacific

Sundays (9/25) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours a new batch of energy is to move into the Gulf of Alaska on Friday (9/30) with a broad patch of 160-180 kts winds circulating there, just far enough south to possible support some sort of surface level storm. This actually looks reasonably impressive. This trough is to move into Canada over the weekend with a rather convoluted and weak pattern following directly.

Beyond 72 hours at the surface high pressure at 1028 mbs is to develop over the dateline with a general trend of westerly winds at 20-25 kts pushing off the Kurils, riding over the high , then spilling southeast through the Gulf aimed at the west coast of the US. No obvious swell expected to result, but it likely won't go flat either with short period windswell resulting. Hawaii to be mostly out of the flow with no real northerly swell expected there.


South Pacific

Sundays (9/25) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the trough in the southern branch of the jet is forecast to build with winds up to 150 kts feeding into it by Thursday (9/29). The trough to hold through Friday then start fading over the weekend. Some degree of surface level support for storm development suggested. Beyond that a weak pattern to fall back into.cgiace.

At the surface beyond 72 hours no swell producing systems forecast.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

New Stormsurf Wave & Weather Models have been Released: After a year of development we're released our newest installment of Regional and Local wave models. Read more here.

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:

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:

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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