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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 31, 2006 5:22 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 = 0.9 - California & 2.9 - 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 10/30 thru Sun 11/5
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 Trying to Awake
NPac Jetstream Building


On Tuesday (10/31) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high and weak. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to rarely shoulder high. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were maybe waist high with most spots less. The LA Area southward to Orange County had surf waist high on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was 2-3 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was 2-3 ft overhead.

Hawaii remained the best spot today because they still had surf, even though it was a little bit raw. It was coming from a low that was north of the Islands, and is actually smaller than anticipated. California was in the dead zone with no surf of interest coming in at either the north or south ends of the state. Weak low pressure is north of Hawaii drifting east but has lost all it's swell generation potential. there's indications it might try to rebuild as it tracks towards California late in the week, possibly setting up some form of windswell beyond. Also low pressure is scheduled to develop over the dateline tracking east at the same time, possibly providing little energy for the Islands next week, but neither is guaranteed. Beyond that a stronger pattern is hinted at, but the models have been all over the.cgiace and change dramatically from one run to the next, so it's really anyone's guess what will happen. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/31) indicated a moderate flow trying to push east off Japan but fading and ridging slightly north before hitting the dateline, then re-energizing slightly and forming a very weak trough north of Hawaii pushing into Baja. A bit of a .cgiit flow was still in effect through with energy pushing up the Kuril Islands into the Bering Sea, robbing the southern branch of much needed juice to develop over the North Pacific. In all only faint support for gale development in the Southern Gulf of Alaska. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (11/3) a .cgiit pattern to persist but the northern branch is to be very weak, with more energy filtering into the southern branch and it becoming dominant. A stronger flat zonal flow is to set up there with winds to 130 kts pushing off Japan due east then fading but retaining cohesiveness while tracking into North CA with a weak trough set up just off the coast. No good support for gale development indicated. Beyond 72 hours a slow strengthening of the jet forecast with an unbroken flow of 120-140 kts energy forecast tracking from Japan into British Columbia with a mild trough over the dateline early next week and another in the Gulf of Alaska and both supportive of some form of low pressure at the surface. even more energy and deeper trough suggested by Tuesday of next week, boding better for surface level low pressure development long term though some form of .cgiit pattern to still be in.cgiay.

At the surface today weak low pressure at 996 mbs was northeast of Hawaii and west of Cape Mendocino drifting slowly northeast. no swell producing fetch was suggested. Otherwise high pressure over the dateline was tracking north into the Bering Sea slowly loosening it's grip on the Aleutian Storm Corridor but not enough to open it for business. No swell producing fetch was evident. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (11/3) the Hawaiian low is to lift northeast pushing up to but not moving onshore over British Columbia likely generating a wet pattern for coastal mountains down into Oregon. Building 30-35 kts northwest winds are to take aim from the lows southwest sector at California generating seas into the 18 ft range and sending unremarkable windswell towards California. At the same time weak low pressure at 992 mbs is to try and develop over the dateline under high pressure centered in the Bering Sea, generating a pressure gradient between the two systems producing east winds aimed towards Asia but no swell producing fetch aimed at Hawaii yet. Also extratropical energy is to be pushing northeast towards the same region originating south of Japan.


Typhoon Cimaron had pushed over the Northern Philippines and was tracking northwest with winds 85 kts taking aim on Hong Kong with landfall expected near Friday (11/3). And eventual turn to the northeast is forecast, but all over land and likely providing no energy pushing back out into the North Pacific.

Otherwise no named tropical systems of interest were being monitored.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/31) weak high pressure at 1028 mbs just southeast of Cape Mendocino CA providing a bit of protection from low pressure tracking east towards the area. It is forecast to hold through the weekend shielding the state from the bulk of southerly winds forecast to be impacting the Pacific Northwest. Still some degree of southerly flow is forecast from Monterey Bay northward Thursday and Friday in the 10-15 kt range then fading Saturday (11/4) and back to a generally calm pattern holding through mid-next week.


South Pacific

On Tuesday (10/31) a
t the surface and through the next 72 hours there were no indications of any swell producing fetch from the South Pacific.


2nd, 3rd & 4th South CA Pulses
On Tuesday (10/24) a tiny 960 mbs low was on the eastern edge of the California swell window just off the edge of Antarctic Ice generating a small area of 40-45 kt winds aimed northeast towards California up the 190 degree great circle path and holding through evening. 30 ft seas were modeled by evening at 55S 138W building to 32 ft Wed AM at 52S 130W. This low to tracked east with fetch fading as it pushed out of the SCal swell window. A second low formed in the same region Wed PM (10/25) generating 45 kts southwest winds aimed again well towards SCal producing 32 ft seas at 55S 120W expected to continue into the evening with 32 ft seas pushing out of the swell window from 50S 110W. Yet a third pulse developed Fri/Sat generating 32 ft seas Sat midday at 54S 115W then pushing totally out of the Scal swell window. Some form of small but continuous swell likely for exposed south facing breaks in Southern California starting Thursday (11/2) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces from 180 degrees) and continuing at that height into the following weekend.


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 moderate improvement in the the overall pattern, but nothing significant. Extratropical energy from under Japan to merge with low pressure over the dateline on Saturday (11/4) producing 35-40 kts winds and 23 ft seas aimed towards Hawaii, but that to be short lived and gone 24 hours later. another low to form in the Gulf of Alaska Sunday tracking northeast producing 50 kts winds for a moment, then fading only to reorganize late Monday with pressure 959 mbs with 45 kt winds aimed towards the Pacific Northwest into late Tuesday possibly generating 30 ft+ seas tracking into British Columbia and Washington late Tues/early Wed (11/8) with lesser energy filtering south into the northern edge of the swell window for exposed North California breaks.

Theoretically a new low to start developing too over the dateline poised to send energy towards Hawaii, but that prognosis is at the bleeding edge of credibility.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

New Book: 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:

Towsurfers & Paddle-in Surfers - Participate in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: The draft EIR for the new Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary management.cgian has been released. Public comment will be accepted until January 7, 2007. The link provided has all of the information that is pertinent to anyone wishing to participate in the crafting of the new regulations. It cannot emphasize enough the importance of making your comments part of the public record as such comments will be used to re evaluate the proposed regulations before inclusion into the final EIR. This will be the public's last and best chance to shape regulations in our Monterey Bay. If you are passionate about what you do, direct that passion into active participation in this process.

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: Nine 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

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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