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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 3, 2006 8:42 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 = 1.0 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' 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 10/2 thru Sun 10/8
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   

North Pacific Quiet for Now
South Pacific Modeled to Stir


On Tuesday (10/3) Northern CA surf was chest to shoulder high and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high on the sets. Central California surf was waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were thigh to waist high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to thigh high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were maybe thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist to chest high.

Things have really settled down in the North Pacific and the South Pacific has been dominant for over a week now. This has resulted in flatness pushing into California and Hawaii. Nothing of any real interest expected in the Islands over the next week other than some background northwest swell mixed with east windswell. California to only see little bits of background swell from the northwest mixed with local windswell and that confined mostly north of Pt Conception. Further out the models suggest improvement from the North Pacific near the dateline and some potential southward under New Zealand, but that is not till next week. Until then, it's a good time to take care of business. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/3) indicated a weak flow pushing off Siberia feeding into a weak pinched trough over the dateline then tracked hard north with a big ridge over the Gulf of Alaska. The jet then dropped hard south into a developing trough off California. In all none of these features were particularly supportive of low pressure development at the surface nor and swell development, though the California trough might indicate a chance of rain developing there. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (10/6) the ridge in the Gulf to push east fast and out of the picture while the trough off California holds in.cgiace. A weak flow to persist off to the west with a small trough trying to build in over the dateline and winds in it's western side building to 140 kts by late Friday, raising the potential for surface level gale development. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to hold over the dateline through Sunday (10/8) with winds to 160 kts, then fading fast while lifting into the Gulf of Alaska. A second trough to set up right behind it bigger in areal coverage but with weak energy flowing over top of it, in a somewhat .cgiit mode. Limited support for surface low pressure development.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was over the eastern Gulf of Alaska while a second high of equal strength was centered over the dateline south of the Aleutians. The Gulf high was generating increased trades and weak to moderate short period windswell along eastern shore of the Hawaiian Islands. Weak low pressure was in the Bering Sea with a broad double barreled low in the far Western Pacific a bit north of the equator. No obvious swell producing fetch was indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (10/6) high pressure off California to fade out and the high currently over the dateline to surge east to r.cgiace it. Once in.cgiace it to generate a moderate northerly flow along the California coast by Friday and brisk easterly winds tracking towards and right up to Hawaii but not quite reaching there. The result to be small to moderate short period windswell for both locales. Also a weak low (1004 mbs) to track east up to and just over the dateline offering maybe 25 kt winds aimed south towards and a bit west of Hawaii. No real swell generation potential suggested. Meanwhile to the west broad low pressure to continue expanding over and south of Japan and drifting north, but no swell producing fetch is suggested.


Tropical Storm Bebinca was positioned 900 nmiles south of Japan with winds 35 kts, imbedded in a broad area of low pressure in the Western Pacific. It to slowly build and lift north reaching minimal hurricane status by Sunday.

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 (10/3) weak winds were in control nearshore though high pressure remained lurking offshore. Very weak low pressure pressure was tracking down the coast from the Pacific Northwest expected to push over the San Francisco Bay Area Wed/Thurs but have no real impact other than to bring some moisture into the area, then fading as it tracks further south. Finally on Friday that low to wash out allowing high pressure to build in, and north wind to result pushing close to and over the coast late in the 15-20 kt range even down to Santa Barbara. More of the same forecast Saturday though not as strong down south and focused more towards Cape Mendocino. By Sunday the typical summer like pattern forecast with 25 kts winds off the Cape and a light flow south of Pt Arena then fading and going light over the entire region Monday and beyond.


South Pacific

On Tuesday (10/3) a very weak jetstream pattern was in.cgiace over the South Pacific with no support for surface level gale development suggested. A weak trough to build in the far Eastern Pacific in the coming 72 hours with a push of 140 north winds modeled under New Zealand Thursday tracking east but fading just as fast and offering no hope for surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest another larger and stronger trough to develop Tuesday (10/10) under New Zealand with 150 kts winds pushing north into the trough. Good potential for surface level gale development assuming this trough actually develops, which seems like a bit of a reach given the time of year.

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

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 just east of the dateline to be joined by more low pressure pushing fast off Siberia developing into a broad elongated low in the Western Gulf of Alaska late Saturday (10/8). Varying bits of 25 kt fetch to be in it's south quadrant trying to get a foothold on the oceans surface, but not quite there. But it to lift northeast fast limiting it's ability to get traction on the oceans surface resulting on only 18 ft seas pushing momentarily towards Hawaii. maybe some background swell at best for there.

Also the big low under Japan to lift north then track east stretching over the dateline into Monday (10/9) and towards the Gulf of Alaska. But high pressure to be in the Bering Sea with the main gradient between the low and the high to be aimed back west towards Japan with little fetch wrapping into the gales south quadrant. No real swell generation potential for California or Hawaii yet though some 18 ft seas are modeled targeting mainly Hawaii for a very short duration late Monday (10/9).


This low is currently responsible for generating westerly winds (reverse trade winds) on the equator qualifying as a Westerly Wind Burst. This situation is associated with the developing active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation currently centered over Indonesia to Japan and is expected to push east into the Western Pacific over the next 2 weeks. Westerly Winds Bursts push warm surface waters to the east, eventually dropping below the oceans surface and traveling the whole width of the Pacific under the equator eventually gurgling up off South America. These pockets of warm water are called a Kelvin Wave and are contributors to the development of El Nino. This is a good sign for the winter to come. Historically the active phase of the MJO supports enhancement of storms over the dateline pushing into the Gulf, so it would not be surprising to see a spike in storm activity developing over the next 2 weeks in sync with a drop in the SOI index. In fact the SOI, which has been hovering in the neutral range, appears to be making a dip into the negative range the past 3 days and we would expect that to continue for at least the next 14 days. This is a great learning experience unfolding for us realtime. The true test will be whether it has any impact on storm development in the Gulf/Dateline region (Aleutian Storm Corridor). Will monitor.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a broad gale to develop under New Zealand on Sunday (10/8) with 45-50 kts winds aimed east-northeast targeting mostly targets in the Eastern Pacific. Theoretically the low to lift northeast Monday with a broad fetch of 40 kt winds targeting locations from Hawaii to California producing 38 ft seas. if this comes to pass solid swell could result for the affected targets, but that seems like quite a reach given the time of year.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

Stormsurf Supports Antarctic Iceberg Breakup Study: CNN is reporting the story of a storm in the Gulf of Alaska in Fall of 2005 that contributed to the breakup of Antarctic Iceberg B15A. We all know that South Pacific storms produce swells that provide surf for California in the summer, but has anyone considered the i.cgiications of what monster winter storms in the North Pacific do to the South Pacific? That is the subject of a research paper by professor Doug MacAyeal from the University of Chicago. He and his team traveled to Antarctica and instrumented a series of icebergs with seismometers to see if they could understand what causes icebergs to break up, and their findings are insightful. And best of all, Stormsurf contributed data in support of their research (and received authorship credits to boot). This is a great exa.cgie of how the science of surfing interacts with other pure science disc.cgiines. All the details are available in this months edition of 'Geophysical Research Letters' and the synopsis is available here:

New Stormsurf Local Wave Models: 9 months in development and testing, Stormsurf is proud to announce the release of our upgraded local wave models. More locations, more fidelity, more variables imaged including sea height, swell period, wind speed & direction, and wave height.cgius the older style composite images of surf height and wind all updated 4 times daily. Check them out 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

Shark Park DVD: Watch an international team of towsurfers ride a virgin wave at a remote offshore reef during the giant winter swells of 2005/2006. Greg Huglin is a man possessed; a Californian who has traveled the world in search of surf, returning home only to continue the hunt in his own backyard. And what a find he uncovered. A truly thick, dumping, mud-dredging slab of a wave sitting out in the open exposed to all the energy the North Pacific can throw at it. This is the story of Greg's pursuit and amazing adventures to Shark Park. Read more here and buy the video:

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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