New Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead)
Advanced: Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Intermediate: Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft)
Impulse/Windswell: Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
On Monday (1/14) Northern CA surf was about 2-3 ft overhead with hard offshores in control. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to 2 ft overhead with decent conditions. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was up to 3 ft overhead with northerly winds. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was chest high to head high with sets 2 ft overhead at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was head high with sets 1 ft overhead at the best breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were head high, maybe a little more on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was 15 ft and hacked. The South Shore was chest high from wrap-around energy. The East Shore was head high from wrap-around swell from the northwest.
North/Central California was starting to settle down after a solid run of significant class surf originating from the dateline on into the Gulf of Alaska. Southern California was still getting decent swell originating from the dateline on into the Gulf, but the trend was downward. Hawaii's North Shore was still getting significant class swell from the dateline (Storm #15) but north winds continued to be an issue. The East Shore was getting a little wrap around energy from that same swell. The South Shore was getting some wrap around energy too, though tiny. The bad news is the big surf is over, but the good news is the Hawaiian Islands are scheduled for moderate surf and better winds. Even some of that is to push east towards California, but much diminished in size upon arrival. Time for mere mortals to rejoin the lineup. See details below...
Congratulations to all the Mavericks Surf Contest Contestants and especially Greg Long and Twiggy Baker for their first and second place finishes. Jamie Sterling came in third with Tyler Smith fourth, Grant Washburn fifth and Evan Slater sixth. Surf was fun sized in the 15 ft range out of the west-northwest with clear blue skies, warm temperatures and glassy conditions all day. It was a classic Northern California event.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Mondays jetstream charts (1/14) for the North Pacific indicated a solid jetstream
flow pushing flat off Japan at 160-170 kts reaching the dateline, then majorly
splitting with the northern branch tracking northeast into Western Alaska
and the southern branch heading southeast to the equator. Only the area just
east of Kamchatka held any hope to support storm development. Over the next
72 hours the same basic pattern is to hold with the split point inching it's
way east to 170W and winds building to near 190 kts just east of Japan, but
the same problems are to plague the East Pacific with a split flow in control.
Again only the Kamchatka area to offer any hope. Beyond 72 hours no significant
positive change is forecast and if anything energy levels in the jet are
to drop with winds off Japan down to 140 kts and the split point moving back
to the west. If anything, it's looks like the jet might split just off the
Japan coast (not good). Otherwise the northern branch to push even harder
to the north up through the Bering Sea while the southern branch pushes directly
over Hawaii then into mainland Mexico. No support for surface level storm
development expected anywhere over the North Pacific.
At the surface today high pressure was in control of the Northeast Pacific with one centered in the Gulf of Alaska at 1036 mbs and a second at 1036 mbs over Utah ridging west into the Pacific. Actually, this is a pretty typical occurrence for this time of year (the post-Christmas high pressure lockdown). A huge broad but poorly organized low pressure system was centered just off Kamchatka filling the Bering Sea and generating 35-40 kt winds extending from the Kuril Islands southeast towards the dateline but not making it there. This fetch started on Sunday (1/13) at 35 kts producing 27 ft seas pushing 29-30 ft late today and is scheduled to start fading out by Tuesday with seas dropping fast from 30 ft. All seas to be generally in the area of 37N-40N and 160-170E or 2000-2400 nmiles from Hawaii with fetch aimed there down the 306-312 degree paths. Swell expected to start arriving on the North Shore starting late Wed (1/15) with swell 5 ft @ 14-15 secs (7 ft faces) pushing 6 ft @ 13-14 secs (8 ft faces) Thursday. The second batch of swell energy from this one to arrive on Friday (1/18) with swell 8.5 ft @ 15 secs (12 ft faces) fading from 7.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (10 ft faces) early Saturday (1/19). Swell Direction for all about 310 degrees. Trades bringing offshore's to the North Shore expected Thursday and beyond.
Little bits of this to reach exposed breaks in Central and North CA too starting late Thursday (1/17) with swell 4.4 ft @ 14 secs (6 ft faces) holding into early Friday with the secondary swell arriving late Saturday (1/19) pushing 5 ft @ 16 secs (8 ft faces) fading from 6 ft @ 15 secs Sunday (9 ft faces). Swell Direction 295-305 degrees.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast