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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 28, 2006 10:57 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   

California S. Hemi Swell Heading Down
A Hint of North Pacific Energy Next


On Thursday (9/28) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and quite foggy but clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to chest high with head high sets. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with a few bigger sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest high with occasional head high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was thigh high.

Southwest swell is actually doing pretty good today in California, better than forecast at some spots at some times. But this is the peak, and a slow downward trend is expected from Friday onward. Hawaii was getting a bit of energy on the North Shore from the first of 2 gales, with more expected directly behind. The South Pacific is dormant though the models suggest some activity a week out, but that seems optimistic. The North Pacific produced a moderate but small gale over the dateline which has produced small swell pushing towards the Islands and California. Further out more of the same is forecast, but nothing of any particular interest from a Winter time perspective yet. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (9/28) indicated a trough just east of the dateline with 130 kt winds flowing under it, but pinched and getting ready to collapse. A big ridge was pushing into North America with another trough getting ready to push off Siberia. Nothing interesting yet. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough is to fade out with a zonal/flat flow setting up pushing off the Kuril Islands tracking unri.cgied up to the Pacific Northwest. No clear sings of support for surface level gale development. Beyond that the jet is to develop another trough near the dateline next Wednesday, but not pronounced. And there's some hints of a .cgiit in the jet over Siberia at the same time, which could be problematic further out. Regardless, no signs of strong gale development at the surface.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was over the dateline and south of the Aleutians, clocking the Aleutian Storm Corridor. Weak residuals of the Nagi low were in the Gulf and fading fast while a new low was trying to organize over the Kuril Islands. Otherwise no windswell producing fetch was present (including windswell) aimed at Hawaii or California. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (10/1) the Kuril low to track fast to the northeast with 30-35 kts northwest winds getting little traction on the oceans surface before moving into the Bering Sea and fetch becoming obscured. 19 ft seas forecast. Still some fetch to hang just south of the Aleutians near the dateline, but not much. No notable trade wind 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 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 west of the Philippines and expected to track west into Vietnam over the weekend. 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 Thursday (9/28) a weak pressure pattern was preset off the coast with light winds in control (less than 15 kts). No change forecast through Thursday (10/5). Generally clean conditions to prevail in North, Central and South CA.


South Pacific

On Thursday (9/28) a ridge in the southern branch of the jetstream was pushing to the south under New Zealand tracking just barely over the the Ross Ice Shelf with a second ridge over the Southeast Pacific tracking over Antarctica proper. No significant change is forecast over the next 72 hours. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a modest drift northwards for the southern branch perhaps providing an environment more favorable for surface level gale development late Tuesday (10/3) with even 140 kts winds pushing north into the trough. But that to be short lived with energy levels dropping fast thereafter, though the trough to persist in some form. Better chance for surface level gale development but far from guaranteed.

At the surface nothing of interest was occurring and nothing of interest was forecast over the next 72 hours.


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 system to 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). A second batch of fetch is to drop out of the Bering and over the dateline with 35-40 kts winds blowing out of the northwest on Mon (10/2) holding for 24 hours then fading. 20 ft seas to result targeting Hawaii and California, but well decayed upon arrival. By late in the week a preponderance of small lows are to start materializing. None is to be a swell producer in it's own right, but this definitely signals the demise of high pressure in the North Pacific and possible suggests a more active period begining, though that's quite a reach at this point.

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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