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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 10, 2006 7:10 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 Momentum Slowly Builds
South Pacific to Try


On Tuesday (10/10) Northern CA surf was up to waist high and choppy. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were 1-2 ft. 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 near flat. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were near flat. The North Shore of Oahu was chest to head high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.

Swell from a gale over the weekend is currently targeting Hawaii. The North Shore is seeing energy on the increase Tuesday afternoon expected to reach a few feet overhead right before dark with decent size holding into Wednesday. California was languishing in nothingness with no swell of interest anywhere. At least some of the energy from the Gulf low will be pushing into the North Coast in the coming days. Another gale is tracking off the Kuril Islands but not looking impressive, probably good for small swell pushing into Hawaii long term and that's all. Beyond that this weekend a new gale is forecast developing over a broad area with fetch extending from the Kuril's southeast to a bit east of the dateline targeting Hawaii and California. But we've been teased before and fully expect this one to back off as we get closer to it's formation. Still, the pattern is starting to become consistent, albeit weak. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Note: The National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is the source for most of our weather model data. They are going through a.cgianned outage this week. Data has been spotty and expected to continue that way during the outage window. Our wave models and buoy forecasts remain unaffected through. Thanks for your patience.


Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/10) indicated a ruler flat 120 kt flow pushing off Japan reaching to a point north of Hawaii then heading straight north as it fed into a strong steep ridge covering the US and Canadian West Coasts. The western flow had a hint of .cgiitness to it too, and in conjunction with the flatness was not particularly conducive to surface level gale development. But it was well to the south (37N) while is a step in the right direction. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (10/13) the ridge in the east is to moderate while a weak trough tries to build from the raw materials current over the dateline, but it to be weak with only 120 kts winds flowing under it and a bit of a .cgiit pattern developing with weak winds flowing over the top of it as well. Weak to moderate support for surface level low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with the trough digging a bit further south almost reaching Hawaii and winds increasing to near 150 kts. But the pesky .cgiit flow over the top of the ridge is to persist almost retrograding into early next week. Nat a bad situation, but not quite there yet either. In a normal year if this was September we'd bee right on track.

At the surface today high pressure at 1020 mbs was positioned just off Oregon riding into Canada, about normal for this time of year. Low pressure at 990 mbs was approaching the dateline from the west with a weak fetch of 30 kt winds in it's south quadrant targeting Hawaii much as it has since Monday with seas 20-22 ft. More of the same is forecast Wednesday with the low tracking further east then veering north while the fetch hangs back by the dateline, then dissipates late. Small swell to result for Hawaii starting Friday (10/13) peaking through the weekend with swell 5 ft @ 12 secs (5-6 ft faces). Only dribbles expected to push into North and Central CA Sun/Mon (10/16). A weak high pressure pattern to continue in the East Pacific with no sign of any windswell production for either Hawaii or California.


Gulf Gale
On Saturday (10/7) a chunk of energy from a low just off Japan .cgiit off building into Sunday northwest of Hawaii with pressure dropping to 972 mbs with a small area of 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 was 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 only 22 ft seas pushing down from the south towards Hawaii and CA. This is not nearly as strong as was forecast earlier, but given what was happening at the jet level, it made sense. This system quickly dissipated as it pushed onshore over Alaska late Monday. Expect head high to 2 ft overhead surf in Hawaii (5 ft @ 13 secs) Tuesday PM (10/10) into Wednesday AM. North California should see swell at 4 ft @ 13 secs Thursday (10/12) late afternoon (5 ft faces) holding through Friday then fading. Smaller energy still pushing into Central CA Friday with swell 4 ft @ 12 secs (4.5 ft faces).


Tropical Storm Soulik was positioned well southeast of Iwo Jima tracking west-northwest with sustained winds 55 kts. It is forecast to continue on this heading for the next 5 days steadily building energy reaching near 120 kts by Sunday (10/15) positioned 600 nmiles south of Southern Japan, feeding off energy provided by the active phase of the MJO. This system to possibly recurve northeast next week and support a build gale pattern over the dateline.

Tropical Storm Olivia was midway between Hawaii and Mexico with winds 40 kts tracking northeast. A steady degradation forecast over the next 3 days with this system dissipating. No swell generation potential forecast.

Tropical Depression Norman was 550 nmiles south of San Diego with sustained winds 30 kts and tracking northeast, expected to dissipate over the next 48 hours and be gone when it passes over the Islands of Clarion. No swell generation potential forecast.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/10) weak low pressure at 1014 mbs was just off Monterey Bay generating southerly winds along the Central CA coast and offshore's north of Bodega Bay. Weak high pressure was just north of Vancouver Island pushing inland. But in all a weak wind pattern was in.cgiace over California coastal waters. The low to push inland Wednesday as high pressure holds well to the north resulting in an even lighter flow, with no significant change forecast through the weekend.


South Pacific

On Tuesday (10/10) a very weak trough in the jetstream was starting to develop under New Zealand. Over the next 72 hours it to build with 180 kt winds forecast Wednesday through flowing pretty flat fading to 140 kts Thursday and holding but not progressing any into the greater South Pacific. Some support for surface level low pressure development. The trough is to actually become better defined into Sunday but with only 130 kts winds flowing north up it's west side. Some support for surface level gale development suggested. A .cgiit pattern to start building back to the west beyond that shutting any protential down.

At the surface nothing of interest was occurring, But early Wednesday (10/11) a new low is to form in the developing upper trough under New Zealand with pressure 948 mbs and winds 45-50 kts aimed generally just north of east. Sea building to 38 ft late targeting Hawaii with sideband swell potential and California and Tahiti with something more. Solid 45 kts winds to hold into Thursday producing a tiny area of 40 ft seas aimed like before then the low to drop southeast and fade.

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 a new new gale to form just west of the dateline late Friday (10/13) from the extratropical remnants of a system off Japan. By Saturday AM (10/14) pressure to be 996 mbs with 3 kt winds in it's south quadrant targeting Hawaii and California building to 972 mbs by evening with up to 50 kt winds over a tiny area targeting the same locales from the dateline. The system to start fading Sunday with the fetch sinking southeast and fading from 50 kts again over a tiny area aimed best at Hawaii producing 25-27 ft seas. More energy to build west of the low Monday producing an elongated fetch of 30-35 kts winds with embedded areas to near 45 kts and more 22-27 ft seas targeted like before and holding into Tuesday.

There's suggestions of even more extratropical energy from current tropical storm Soulik joining the frey in the days ahead, as the MJO acts like bulldozer pushing tropical energy north ahead of it as it pushes east off Asia (see MJO section below). Things are starting to get interesting and the machine is getting warmed up, but nothing really eye opening projected just yet, and certainly subject to major revision seeing how this is still a week off.


MJO Update
On Tuesday (10/10) westerly winds (reverse trade winds) continued on the equator over the Western Pacific reinforcing our 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, has now fully settled into the negative range the past 12 days and is currently down at -29.8, 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 second elongated fetch of 45 kt winds to develop under New Zealand late Thursday fading some Friday (10/13) tracking east producing 32 ft seas. Theoretically it to redevelop Saturday with 45 kts winds and 39 ft seas building, but this seems kinda far fetched.

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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