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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 5, 2006 10:39 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 To Stir
South Pacific Looking Better Too


On Thursday (10/5) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and reasonably clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were maybe thigh high on the sets. Central California surf was thigh high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to thigh high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.

We're in the dead spell between summer and fall, but hopefully not for long. No surf of interest was occurring in California other than some windswell/pseudo swell mix up north. Hawaii was not seeing anything other than small easterly windswell. No big change in the immediate days ahead but further out the picture is looking rosier. A small but reasonably potent system is schedule starting north of Hawaii on Sunday with most energy directed to the east towards California and then northward towards the Pacific Northwest. A second weaker on the follow mid-next week beyond the dateline while in the South Pacific a decent pulse to track under New Zealand. It's all really just phantoms produced by the models, but that's enough to provide some encouragement for the future. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (10/5) indicated a moderate flow pushing off Siberia with the faintest hints of a trough over the dateline, fading as it approached the East Pacific. A backdoor trough was hanging over California continuing unsettled weather there. In all, no features that indicated support for surface level gale development were suggested. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (10/8) the weak trough over the dateline is to build with 160 kt winds flowing into it from the west and not moving to fast east. This trough to build looking almost respectable by Sunday then most energy to move into the troughs eastern quadrant push fast to the north into Alaska late Monday into Tuesday. This one looks reasonably promising to support surface level gale/storm development. Beyond 72 hours a ruler flat flow is to continue off Siberia while a strong ridge builds over the far Eastern Gulf of Alaska. Eventually a trough to build into the Western Pacific by next Thursday providing yet more support for gael development at the surface. Looks like Fall is coming.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was over the eastern Gulf of Alaska but not pushing up to California and positioned east of Hawaii, limiting any trade winds of interest. A large pool of weak low pressure was south of Japan and looking to be a good breeding group for extratropical activity long term. A weak tiny low was over the dateline but doing nothing. No obvious swell producing fetch was indicated anywhere. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (10/8) things are to start changing for the better. The Japan low is to start tapping jetstream energy and break up with pieces tracking east. The first is to cross the dateline Saturday evening and start rapidly building into Sunday northwest of Hawaii with pressure dropping to 960 mbs and winds to 60-65 kts targeting Hawaii from the storms southwest sector then swinging into the storm south quadrant targeting California. Seas 30 ft Sun AM aimed at Hawaii and on the increase to 37 ft in the evening targeting California. The whole storm to start lifting due north by nightfall and to continue into Monday with 50 kt winds circulating around the storms southern half producing 40 ft+ seas aimed at Alaska with 27 ft seas pushing down from the south towards Hawaii and CA. This is all a bit of a reach for the models but it looks tempting.


Tropical Storm Bebinca was positioned 480 nmiles south of Japan with winds 35 kts, imbedded in a broad area of low pressure in the Western Pacific. It to slowly fade and turn extratropical. No swell producing capacity suggested.

Tropical Storm Rumbia was positioned 800 nmiles southwest of Japan with winds 35 kts, also imbedded in a broad area of low pressure in the Western Pacific. It to slowly fade and turn extratropical over the next 72 hours while tracking north. No swell producing capacity suggested.

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 (10/5) weak winds and weak low pressure was in control of nearshore waters though high pressure remained just off the coast. By Friday the low pressure is to exit east and high pressure to take over, 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 a bit of a gradient to set up off the Cape with 30 kts north winds generating some windswell but that to be short lived as a small but strong storm pushes into the Western Gulf of Alaska. Light winds to settle in Sunday and hold through the following week.


South Pacific

On Thursday (10/5) a very weak jetstream pattern was in.cgiace over the South Pacific with only a weak trough in the far Southeastern Pacific. No real support for surface level gale development suggested. A weak trough to persist in the far Eastern Pacific through the next 72 hours but no winds of interest forecast and nothing suggested at the surface of interest. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a strong ridge pushing over Antarctica Monday midway across the South PAcific shutting down any potential there and to the east. Under New Zealand a bit of a trough to develop Tuesday (10/10) under New Zealand with 150 kts winds pushing north into the trough holding for 48 hours. Some 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. A low was on the very edge of the Southern CA swell window Thursday with 45 kt winds suggested by nightfall, but that to all be aimed east with little hope for any energy pushing north.

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 the second and last piece of low pressure from under Japan to track east by Wednesday (10/11) with pressure 984 mbs producing 40 kt winds. It to track east through Thursday with up to 30 ft seas pushing towards the dateline. This all looks good on the charts but is far from certain to form.


MJO Update
The l
ow currently responsible for generating westerly winds (reverse trade winds) on the equator has qualified 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 3 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, is making a dip into the negative range the past 7 days and is down to -28, and we would expect that to continue for at least the next 21 days. in fact the latest indicators suggest this is the strongest MJO pulse in at least the last year. 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.
ENSO/MJO link:


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a broad gale to develop under New Zealand on Tuesday (10/10) with 40-45 kts winds aimed east-northeast targeting mostly targets in the Eastern Pacific. Theoretically the low to hold and track east producing 35 ft seas targeting locations from Hawaii to California. If this comes to pass some 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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