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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 29, 2007 3:25 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 = 3.5 - California & 1.5 - 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 10/1 thru Sun 10/7
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   

Gulf Swell Pushing Toward California
More Energy to Follow


On Saturday (9/29) Northern CA surf was head high and reasonably clean early. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high with luck. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was up to waist high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat even at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high only at the best breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were also maybe thigh high with a rare waist high set at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was wait to maybe chest high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest high.cgius.

North/Central California was small and weak with local windswell making a showing. Southern California surf was basically flat with no swell of interest in the water. Hawaii was on the downswing with dateline swell fading out on the North Shore. There was still some small to moderate tradewind generated windswell on the East Shore. The South Shore was flat. The Southern Hemisphere is done working for the season, or so it appears with no systems of interest occurring and none forecast. The North Pacific is where all the action is with one gale fading out after putting some swell in the water heading towards the mainland and another on the charts for Mon/Tues in the far eastern Gulf of Alaska. A beyond that the charts are looking reasonably optimistic with a few more projected making the full trek from off Japan into the Gulf, though still somewhat small and weak. At least there's hope. Looks like Fall is progressing. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Saturdays jetstream charts (9/29) for the North Pacific indicated a strong ridge pushing off the Kuril Islands up into the Bering Sea over the dateline then falling south into the Gulf of Alaska with 140-170 kts winds over it's width. A small trough was set up in the Gulf undulating down to Northern California. The Gulf was the only area though capable of supporting surface level low pressure development a the trough was most pronounced there. Over the next 72 hours the Gulf trough is to push east into Canada Monday and fading while the ridge over the dateline moderates and flattens out while pushing east as well. A new trough is to result in the Gulf by early Tuesday with 150 kt winds flowing under it providing more support for surface level low pressure development, and a.cgiifying Wednesday with up to 170 kt winds pushing into it. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest some form of trough to persist in the far eastern Gulf in Thursday (10/4) then pushing into Canada with a weak flow following behind. A semi .cgiit flow is possible over the Kuril by late week (10/5) which would not be ideal, but it's still a bit early to know how this will.cgiay out.

Jetstream Models: We've upgraded our jetstream forecast models to includes topographic land with the jet flowing over it. Wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. See it here:( NPac, SPac )

At the surface today high pressure at 1026 mbs was over the dateline ridging north to the Aleutians and driving the surface flow generally up into the Bering Sea. Low pressure was in the Gulf of Alaska (see North Pacific Gale below) and fading while another low at 980 mbs was pushing off the Kamchatka Peninsula, with no winds of interest yet. The high pressure system was helping to fuel a northerly flow over Central California coastal waters at 20 kts and pushing trades a bit over the Hawaiian Islands at 15-20 kts, making for short period windswell in both locales. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (10/2) the Kamchatka low is to take a northern path through the the Bering Sea the start oozing into the northern Gulf of Alaska Monday (10/1) generating 30 kt west-northwest winds there pushing to 35 kts late. Sea building to 21 ft at 52N 155W late. Winds to hold in the 30-35 kt range through Tuesday aimed a little more to the south with seas building to 23 ft at 52N 140-145W with residual heights in the 18-20 ft range sinking southeast Wednesday. Some form of moderate northerly swell is expected for the PAcific Northwest on down into Central CA with period in the 13-14 sec range if this materializes. But the fetch to be all too far east to have any impact on Hawaii.


North Pacific Gale
On Tuesday (9/25) a tiny window opened in the upper flow allowed a low pressure system pushing east off Japan to start developing.

On Wednesday (9/26) pressure dropped to 980 mbs with the core of the low just off Kamchatka. A short lived fetch of 45 kt winds developed in it's south quadrant at 44N 155-160E with seas to barely 25 ft aimed well at Hawaii down the 313 degree great circle path, then lifting northeast late with seas fading. A little pulse of swell likely pushing towards Hawaii.

On Thursday (9/27) the low was lifting into the Bering Sea pushing over the dateline with a very limited fetch of 40 kt winds hanging just south of the Aleutians at 50N 178E aimed due east towards California up the 306 degree great circle path and the Pacific Northwest too. Seas built to 25 ft at 50N 178W late.

On Friday AM (9/28) the low slid into the Northwestern Gulf with a decently defined fetch of 35-40 kt west winds pushing east near 51N 165W with seas holding at 25 ft at 50N 175W. The Jason-1 satellite passed right over the core of the fetch and confirmed seas at 25 ft. In the evening the low was declining with 30-35 kts winds confirmed trying to hang on at 50N 160W with 25 ft seas at 50N 165W aimed towards Central CA down the 306 degree great circle path. The Jason-1 satellite passed over the leading edge of this area late and confirmed seas at 23 ft, right on track with what the models suggested for this area.

By Saturday AM (9/29) the low was fading with fetch aimed more to the southeast but fading from 30-35 kts with seas fading from 23 ft at 48N 157W. In the evening 30 kt winds to continue with 21 ft seas at 48N 148W aimed down the 308 degree path to Central CA.

This one to be gone by Sunday AM (9/30).

The models actually did am amazing job of projecting this system well ahead of even a hint of it forming (like 72 hours.cgius in advance). Good job!. But make no mistake, this was just a tiny weak little system, barely even a gale from a normal winter storm perspective. Still we'll take anything we can get. A little bit of decent swell is expected to push into the Pacific Northwest and California early next week (late Mon/Tues - 10/2) with size just a shade bigger than the last one, minimal Winter time utility class range. Only background swell expected for Hawaii starting late Monday.

North California: Expect swell arrival starting Monday (10/1) about 3 PM with period 16 secs and size tiny if even noticeable. Size coming up starting to peak near 11 PM as period drops to 14 secs. Swell 5.5-5.5 ft @ 14-15 secs holding into sunrise Tuesday (10/2) (7.4-7.7 ft faces) then heading down. Period dropping to 13 secs about noon with copious windswell building on top. Swell Direction: 304-308 degrees

South California: Some little bit of of this swell to arrive starting about 3 AM Tuesday with size tiny and period 16 secs and not even noticeable. Swell peaking about noon to 5 PM with swell 2.1-2.3 ft @ 14 secs (2.5-3.0 ft faces) maybe pushing 3-4 ft @ 14 secs at best exposed breaks (4.5-5.5 ft faces) from 308-310 degrees. Period dropping to 13 secs after sunset.


A tropical depression was 480 nmiles south-southwest of Cabo San Lucas tracking northwest, expected to build to minimal tropical storm status in the next 24 hours, but not intensify any more. No swell generation potential relative to California or Hawaii.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (9/29) high pressure at 1028 mbs hat retrograded to almost the dateline, but a thin sliver of it was trying to push east into Central California interacting with lower pressure inland generating 20-25 kt north winds off San Francisco and trying to generating short period windswell. That to be short lived though as low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska builds south Sunday, with light winds forecast to be in control. A front is to be getting close to the San Francisco area late, but fading off Cape Mendocino before pushing inland. Light winds forecast Monday AM, then high pressure and northerly winds to start building over the Central CA coast late Monday into Tuesday (10/2) cranking at 20-25 kts focused near Pt Conception through at least Thursday (10/4). A little break Friday (10/5) then more high pressure induced northerly winds Saturday (10/6).


South Pacific

Saturdays jetstream charts (9/29) for the South Pacific indicated a .cgiit flow over the Southwestern Pacific merging over the Southeastern Pacific with the northern branch pushing steadily southward forcing the entire flow that way towards extreme Southern Chile. No support for surface low pressure capable of generating swell relative to our forecast area. Over the next 72 hours the .cgiit flow is to build while pushing east, further suppressing the potential for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours the .cgiit pattern to continue pushing further south and weakening, continuing to suppress any chance for surface level gale development.

At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in.cgiay. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast, with winds below 35 kts.


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 that the dateline blocking high pressure pattern to break down and push southeast while fading providing a bit of an opening for the West Pacific to become more active and allowing some flow to the east south of the Aleutians. By Friday (10/5) one low is to be in the Western Gulf with 45 kt winds building in it's southern quadrant aimed best at California with sideband energy towards Hawaii and seas building to 29 ft. A second low to be building off the Kuril Islands with 45 kt winds building in it's southwest quadrant targeting Hawaii with seas building to 27 ft. And yet a third system, a typhoon is to be east of Taiwan heading north also generating seas of interest. It looks like a good setup on the charts, but at this early date it is nothing more than an illusion. A nice one at that though.


Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) - On Saturday (9/29) the active phase of the MJO was all but over and fading away. Nothing of it is to be left by late next week. And if anything La Nina is looking stronger than it has at any point so far this season. Will monitor to see what if any the demise of this active phase of the MJO will have on swell generation potential.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate no generation of swell producing fetch. The South Pacific is asleep.

Details to follow...


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) , Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) , Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) , Kelvin Wave

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Local Interest

Tom Jones California Paddle: California Paddle 2007 is a world record-breaking expedition by Tom Jones, an extreme endurance athlete and environmental activist. Tom will become the first person in history to paddle the entire 1250-mile coast of California on nothing more than a 14-ft. paddleboard. Tom is drawing world-wide attention to the problem of.cgiastic pollution in our oceans. A recent study has found that there is six times more.cgiastic in the ocean than.cgiankton off the coast of California. See more here:

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here:

Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit Submit online at

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New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.

Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here:

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here:

Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here:

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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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