Note: Forecasts will be updated on an 'as-available' basis through 1/7
On Friday (1/6) Northern CA surf was double to near triple overhead and clean. South facing breaks were 2-4 ft overhead and clean. Central California surf was up to double overhead and a bit bumpy. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to head high to 2 ft overhead at the best breaks with most in the head high range. The LA area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego waves were head high to 1 ft overhead with best breaks pushing 2-3 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu was 3-4 ft overhead with double overhead sets. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest to head high.
Things are settling down, but that is kinda relative compared to the super sized surf experienced on Wednesday (1/4) with 40-50 ft faces at Mavericks not uncommon thanks to Swell #9. Leftovers from another system that followed right behind are hitting now and heading down. Hawaii has been pretty much left out of the swell, with most of the energy either coming from locations north of the Islands and aimed east of them or from storms that have organized east of the state. The storm track has now shifted with all future storms expected to move from the dateline northeast through the Gulf of Alaska directing their energy best at the Golden State and the Pacific Northwest. But some decent energy is expected to push south for Hawaii as these systems pass north of the Islands, so everyone should get something out of this. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Fridays (1/6) jetstream was relatively calm compared to weeks past, but still not bad. Most energy was flowing northeast off Southern Japan with winds 140 kts just about reaching the dateline up at 40N then fading out. East of the dateline upper winds were near calm other than a tiny patch of 140 kt winds blowing into British Columbia. Over the next 72 hours the same pattern to hold but with the core energy pushing more from japan to the dateline snaking northeast to a point well north of Hawaii and 600 nmiles south of the Aleutians. This suggests the Aleutian storm corridor is to be the favored storm route. A bit of a trough is build into this flow in the Gulf on Sunday (1/8) suggesting support for a weak storm at the surface. Beyond 72 hours the most energy in the jet is to take a position on the dateline pushing east with a ridge forming on the dateline Thursday (1/12) with winds 150 kts with a decent trough trying to organize in the Gulf 24 hours later. In all it doesn't look too bad.
At the surface today a new 988 mb low was trying to develop in the Gulf of Alaska on the northern edge of the California swell window. Further west on the dateline a far more interesting storm was trying to organize with pressure 980 mbs. Solid high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered just north of Hawaii generating rather brisk trades there. Over the next 72 hours the first little gale in the Gulf is to hold it's pressure while tracking east with winds reaching 45 kts Saturday (1/7) before moving inland into British Columbia late. 20-22 ft seas to result providing good 13-14 sec utility class swell generation potential for California breaks most north of Pt Conception on up into the Pacific Northwest.
Of more interest is the system behind it. By Friday evening (1/6) pressure is to drop to 968 mbs with 55 kt winds forecast in it's south quadrant at 46N 172W aimed generally east towards California up the 300 degree great circle route. This to continue through Saturday night heading east with wind aimed down the 303 degree route to CA. Seas building to 35 ft. This storm to wind down through the day Sunday as it moves into the Central Gulf of Alaska with winds down to 35 kts late. Seas forecast up to 39 ft in the morning though right before the storm collapses. Those seas to be located at 49N 145W aimed decently down the 305 degree path to California. This storm to produce decent swell pushing south to California from a rather northerly track, providing near significant class swell for exposed breaks.
Possible Storm #11
Also on Saturday (1/7) another storm is to fire up off Japan with pressure 976 mbs and winds to hurricane force (60-54 kts) at 36N 156E aimed east towards Hawaii up the 299 degree path but south of any route to California. these winds to continue through the late evening aimed at Hawaii down the 305 degree great circle path. Seas building to 38 ft at 37N 160E. On Sunday (1/8) pressure to hold at 968 mbs as the storm crosses the dateline with 55 kt west winds continuing through the day at 41N 175E aimed 25-30 degrees east of the 315 degree path to Hawaii but right up the 295 degree path to California, though still a long ways away. By Monday AM (1/9) pressure to be up to 974 mbs with 45 kt wind remaining at 42N 175W aimed well east of targets in Hawaii but aimed right at California up the 292 degree path. 34 ft seas forecast at 42N 178W. This storm to continue east on Tuesday (1/10) with 45 kt west winds on the 43N line ending at 43N 148W aimed right at NCal down the 293 degree path (301 SCal). 27 ft seas expected through the day. This system to fade out Wednesday (1/11) with residual 27 ft seas fading through the day.
This to be a long lasting and reasonably strong storm, though small in total areal coverage - Basically a 'normal' winter storm. If this system develops as forecast minimal significant class surf could result for both California (shorter period but more amplitude) and Hawaii (longer period but less amplitude) s
Note: We retroactively numberedStorm # 10 which blew up off the California coast Wednesday evening (1/4) with south wind gusts pushing over buoy 46006 at 60 kts and seas briefly to 40 ft, but all heading north towards Alaska. Still significant class sideband energy was experienced along the CA coast on late Thursday into Friday AM with pure swell 10 ft @ 14 secs.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Friday (1/6) the models suggest that weak high pressure has taken hold of the nearshore waters and out a bit, providing a firm end to the weeks of south wind that had been plaguing the Northern end of the state. No significant change forecast through Thursday of next week. This does not preclude that fleeting periods of south wind or gust north wind will not occur, but they are forecast to be limited to the Northern part of the state (north of Pt Conception) and should only last 12 hours or so with velocities 15 kts or less. So in general the local wind outlook is favorable.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours two more smallish systems are on the charts, both starting on Thursday. The first storm is forecast off Japan starting on Tuesday (1/12). One is to be just off the California coast with pressure 996 mbs producing a tiny fetch of 45 kt winds moving northeast right over the outer waters of Cape Mendocino with 38 ft seas suspected. The second to form over the dateline tracking northeast with pressure 980 mbs and 45 kt winds aimed midway between CA and Hawaii but fragmented and not getting good purchase on the oceans surface. Seas 25-30 ft.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Details to follow...
MV Indies Trader Returns to Sumatra
Indies Trader Marine Adventures is proud to announce that after seven incredibly successful years circumnavigating the globe on Quiksilver's "Crossing" expedition - the MV Indies Trader is returning to its roots in Sumatra.
More info here
El Nino Forecast Updated: The Stormsurf El Nino forecast was updated on 12/30/05. Check out all the latest details concerning El Nino and it's impact on the winter surf season. Details here
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table