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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 8, 2006 9:04 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 = 2.2 - California & 3.0 - 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 10/9 thru Sun 10/15
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 Forecast Backs Off
South Pacific Looks Weaker Too


On Saturday (10/7) Northern CA surf was chest high with some bigger sets and clean but weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf was waist high with some bigger sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest to head high.

Most Northeast Pacific breaks continue in the dead zone with no swell in interest in the water and no solid swell producing systems on the charts. No surf of interest was occurring in California other than weak windswell, a little bigger up north. Hawaii was seeing some trade induced windswell on it's eastern shores, but that was about it. There been a little excitement about a potential storm developing north of Hawaii on Sunday, but the latest run of the models is not nearly as encouraging as days previous. Another is to follow behind it, but it too to be weak. And the models keep teasing about something down south five or more days out, but we don't believe it cause it keeps changing. So for now we sit and wait for Fall to start. It's really getting off to a slow start. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Saturdays jetstream charts (10/7) indicated a a decent trough developing over the dateline with 190 kt winds flowing down it's west side. It was still positioned a bit too far to the north, but actually looks almost impressive especially given the time of year. A weak ridge was on the Gulf of Alaska with that pesky backdoor trough still hanging over California. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (10/10) the trough over the dateline is slowly drift east into the Western Gulf of Alaska into Sunday with winds fading in it's west quadrant to the 140 kt range, but still looking fairly decent. The Monday equally strong winds to build in it's eastern quadrant likely forcing whatever is developing at the surface to veer north with the main wind vector taking aim that way too. The entire trough is to lift north as a very strong ridge builds in the Gulf late Monday totally wiping out the trough and pushing it's remnants into Alaska. A ruler flat flow to build in behind it pushing off Japan and extend east beyond the dateline. Beyond 72 hours the jet to remain positioned pretty well to the south centered on the 35N latitude, but .cgiitting near the dateline with the northern branch pushing hard to the north and into the Bering Sea, not a good sign. There's indication the .cgiit flow could moderate by next weekend (10/14) but it's too early to tell.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was positioned just off Oregon and North CA starting to form a bit of a gradient off Cape Mendocino with 25 kt winds registered there. This same high was also driving moderate east winds at 15-20 kts around it's south quadrant pushing right up to the Big Islands of Hawaii, but not encroaching upon land. In both cases short period windswell was in.cgiace. Otherwise a rather broad and developing low was centered just off Japan, part of a broad low pressure center that has been hanging over the Western Pacific for some time now. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (10/10) things to get a little more interesting. Gradient north winds off California (near Cape Mendocino) to increase to 30 kts producing more windswell into Monday while the east trades targeting Hawaii fade.

But of more interest is the low off Japan which is to start tapping jetstream energy and break up with one piece tracking east fast. The first piece is to cross the dateline Saturday evening and start building into Sunday northwest of Hawaii with pressure dropping to 968 mbs and winds to 40-45 kts targeting Hawaii from the storms southwest sector then swinging into the storm south quadrant targeting California. Seas 22 ft Sun PM aimed at Hawaii (barely) then targeting California. But this to be very short-lived with the whole gale lifting due north by nightfall and in the northern Gulf of Alaska by Monday AM with 40-45 kt winds circulating around the storms southern half producing 27 ft seas aimed at Alaska with 25 ft seas pushing down from the south towards Hawaii and CA. This is not nearly as strong as was forecast 48 hours earlier, but given what's happening at the jet level, it makes sense. This system to quickly dissipate as it pushes onshore over Alaska late Monday. Best guess at this time suggests head high or so surf in Hawaii and California with period in the 11-13 sec range.

A second gale to be developing from the remainder of the Japan low Monday (see Long Term forecast).


No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (10/7) high pressure at 1028 mbs was nestling up to the coast with gradient north winds forecast to build offshore through the day. By Sunday a nice gradient of 30-35 kt north winds to be centered off Cape Mendocino late producing windswell radiating southward into North and Central CA while local winds start to calm. The gradient to fade through Monday and windswell with it while weak eddy flow sets up along the coast (light south wind). That to fade late Tuesday with calm to light northwest wind taking hold and remaining well into next weekend.


South Pacific

On Saturday (10/7) a very weak jetstream pattern was in.cgiace over the South Pacific with no troughs capable of supporting surface level gale development indicated. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with a ridge pushing into Antarctica. Maybe a trough setting up under New Zealand Monday, but it's too be wiped out by Tuesday by a new ridge building in from the west. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a generally unfavorable flow persisting. No clear cut support for surface level gael development.

At the surface nothing of interest was occurring and nothing was forecast over the next 72 hours. That said 2 tiny low pressure systems are to develop, one in the far east and the other just southeast of New Zealand. Winds in both at to reach 45 kts Monday but both are to hold for only 24 hours and only cover a tiny area. Doubtful even that much will result.

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 final piece of the broad low pressure from under Japan is to start track east by Sunday (10/08) with pressure 980 mbs producing 40 kt winds and a tiny area of 30 ft seas aimed well at Hawaii but a long ways way. It to track east through Wednesday with 35-40 kts winds in it's south quadrant continuing to target Hawaii with seas modeled at 27-29 ft. The low to fade well northwest of Hawaii on Thursday. This all looks good on the charts but is far from certain. Still assuming it occurs as charted Hawaii could see a decent pulse of winter time utility class energy by late week.


MJO Update
On Saturday (10/7) westerly winds (reverse trade winds) continue on the equator continuing a qualified Westerly Wind Burst event. This situation is associated with the developing active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation currently centered over Asia and pushing east into the Western Pacific. It's expected track across the entire 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 had been hovering in the neutral range, is now making a dip into the negative range the past 7 days and is down to the -26 range for the past 3 days, 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 storm is to develop under New Zealand on Wednesday (10/11) with 55-60 kts winds over a tiny area aimed east-northeast fading 24 hours later and targeting mostly the Southeastern Pacific. Seas modeled to 38 ft for 12 hours all aimed east. Will believe it when it happens.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

Stormsurf Iceberg Breakup Analysis/Decide for Yourself: There been some debate concerning the facts around the breakup of Iceberg B15A. Here's a short exercise that helps to drive out the facts around the research:

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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