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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: November 28, 2006 7:48 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
Click Here to Visit Killer Dana!
Swell Potential Rating = 2.0 - California & 3.5 - 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 11/27 thru Sun 12/3
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   

Models Tease
Weak Storm Pattern Short-term


On Tuesday (11/28) Northern CA surf was 1-3 ft overhead and blown to bits. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were maybe waist to chest high. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was in the thigh to waist high range. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 3 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist high with a few stray chest high peaks. The East Shore had head high east windswell.

Hawaii again is at the top of the class with fun sized head high.cgius surf and offshore's on the North Shore. California had sizeable windswell but strong onshore winds making a mess of it both north and south. The East Pacific remains.cgiagued with next to no jetstream at all while a building pattern starts setting up over the very far West Pacific. It is this strengthening upper flow that is catching our eye and provides a glimmer of hope for the weekend ahead. But until then Hawaii to remain best positioned to pick up whatever pushes east off Siberia while the mainland suffers with no local swell source. See details below...


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

North Pacific

Tuesdays jetstream charts (11/28) looked no different than days previous with a small patch of somewhat strong 140 kt winds pushing just barely off Japan rising northeast then fading way before the dateline and .cgiitting with a very weak flow tracking flow towards and over Baja while the northern branch pushes over the Aleutians dipping into a steep trough pushing over Hawaii then riding due north and ultimately pushing into North Canada. No support for surface level development suggested anywhere expect maybe a little east of the Kuril Islands. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (12/1) the fundamental outline of the flow to hold with a single flow pushing off Japan while .cgiit flow remains from the dateline east into North America. But a noticeable change is forecast over Japan with the flow there looking much more organized and winds building to near 170 kts and reaching east to nearly the dateline. No changes forecast at the surface yet. Beyond 72 hours that new pocket of energy off Japan is to build to 190 kts and push further east reaching a bit beyond the dateline by Sunday (12/3) then starting to fall into a weak trough near the dateline with 130 kt winds in a consolidated flow pushing to a point north of Hawaii. This suggests the .cgiit flow to be getting pushed over the mainland with a roaring consolidated flow starting to reach across the length of the North Pacific in the weeks beyond, which is too good to hope for and unlikely to happen.

At the surface today moderate low pressure at 980 mbs was approaching the dateline just south of the Aleutians generating a tiny and fast moving area of 40-45 kt northwest winds aimed at Hawaii but getting little traction on the oceans surface while stronger winds of 50 kts were in the low's southeast sector but aimed only up towards the Aleutians. High pressure at 1028 mbs was directly over the dateline driving this system northeast and forcing the stronger gradient and winds in the gales southeast sector. This fetch to track northeast into Wednesday afternoon before moving over the Aleutians and becoming totally land-locked. The weaker of the two fetches to generate up to 20 ft seas Tues PM through Wed PM aimed somewhat at Hawaii down the 320-330 degree paths, likely resulting in moderate swell expected to arrive Saturday afternoon (12/2) at 5.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (7.0-7.5 ft faces) from 320 degrees with residuals into Sunday. Also a second high at 1028 mbs was anchored off North California bringing brisk non-swell producing north winds down the Pacific Northwest coast.

Over the next 72 hours another low to push northeast off off Southern Kamchatka Thursday (11/30) rising rapidly north into the Bering Sea before agitating the oceans surface to any degree driven by high pressure anchored over the dateline. Another low to develop over the dateline Friday (12/1) and also ride north as directed by the dateline high pushing it into the Bering Sea and becoming landlocked before any winds or swell of interest are generated. A little 1004 mb cutoff low is suggested developing north of Hawaii Wednesday generating 24 hours of 30-35 kt winds and 20 ft seas aimed south but positioned only 600 nmiles away from Hawaii, good for some localized windswell for northern shores there on Thurs/Fri (12/1). High pressure to hang off NCal starting to ridge into British Columbia and likely providing the start of a much needed dryout for the Pacific Northwest and providing weather more typical for this time of year.


Hawaiian Swell
A low was over the Western Aleutians Saturday (11/25) generating 30-35 kt northwest winds streaming southeast off Kamchatka producing 21 ft seas headed towards Hawaii down the 318 degree path. That held through the day into early Sunday (11/26) sending some swell towards the Hawaiian Islands. Swell expected to arrive Thursday (12/1) estimated at 7.8 ft @ 12 secs (8-9 ft faces) from 315-320 degrees then fading from 6.6 ft @ 11-12 sec early Friday (7.0-7.5 ft faces).


Tropical Storm Durian was positioned 220 nmiles southwest of Guam on Sunday (11/26) tracking almost due west with winds 45 kts and on the increase. By Tuesday (11/28) winds were up to minimal hurricane force at 75 kts positioned just east of the Philippines. Current projections have it building steadily with winds up to 130 kts late on Thursday (11/30) as it hits the northern Philippines, then continuing on to the west-northwest with winds down to 60 kts after passing over the Islands. No indication of it recurving northeast towards open waters of the Pacific.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/28) high pressure at 1028 mbs was 700 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino ridging into the entire California coast driving a brisk 20 kt northwest flow from San Diego northward up into Oregon. This is start of a new regime for the West Coast for the foreseeable future, dominated by high pressure. More north winds expected Wednesday (11/29) with the high starting to ridge into Oregon, but not quite making it trying again on Thursday with improved odds for a offshore flow taking hold then. Finally the high to ridge in on Friday (12/1) with offshore winds taking control and holding through the weekend well into the following week.


South Pacific

t the surface and through the next 72 hours there were no indications of any swell producing fetch in the South Pacific.


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 a better pattern is to start emerging at the surface as the jetstream starts pushing the .cgiit pattern that has dominated the East Pacific over the mainland and a more energetic flow takes root. The tail end of a low bound for the Bering Sea to get legs over the dateline late Sunday (12/3) with 40 kts winds aimed south towards Hawaii building into Monday with pressure down to 980 mbs with 45 kts winds over an elongated area taking aim more to the east (towards California) with a tiny core to near 55 kts then fading early Tuesday (12/5). A small area of up to 33 ft seas suggested in the Western Gulf of Alaska Tuesday with energy pushing mostly towards North CA and the Pacific Northwest.

Yet another small low to be right behind starting clearly in the Western Gulf of Alaska with pressure 976 mbs and a small area of 55 kt winds aimed right towards the Us West Coast with a broad area of 30 kts winds stretching from Kamchatka east up to the low. This looks much more like a real winter pattern than anything we've seen to date.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.

Details to follow...


Local Interest

More New Content - Precipitation Models: Over the holidays we focused on expanding our coverage of precipitation models, and now provide high resolution coverage of all US coastal locations. You can now tell whether it will be raining when the surf is pumping, or better yet, know whether it will be snowing in the higher elevations (West Coast). Take a look here:

Weather Model Problem: The past few days the 12Z run of the GFS model has been corrupted when posted on government servers, resulting in our graphic output looking like psychedelic gibberish. This is not a Stormsurf problem and we are switching over to backup servers that are operating normally to capture the data. We have reported the problem to NOAA. This problem has been confirmed by other server users as well. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Jason-1 Satellite Problem: On Oct 31 the Jason-1 satellite automatically went into safe-hold mode. This is triggered when sensors on the satellite detect an anomaly that suggests the satellite is in danger. It goes into a type of hibernation to protect it's sensitive instruments. JPL has been working on the issue and was able to restore the satellite to normal operations at 8:30 PM on Friday 11/17. No new data is available yet, but as soon as it is we'll be publishing it over the wave models images as usual here:

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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