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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: January 24, 2006 7:44 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 = 4.2 - California & 3.8 - 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 1/23 thru Sun 1/29
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   

Kuril Storm Falters
Weak Gulf Pattern Setting Up

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (1/24) Northern CA surf was head high to 2 ft overhead with clean conditions. South facing breaks were chest to head high. Central California surf was chest to head high and clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were chest high at the best spots with most waist high or less. The LA area southward to Orange County was waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high.The North Shore of Oahu was head high with sets 2-3 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was head high with sets 2 ft overhead from easterly windswell.

Enjoy the clean funsized longer period swell in California while it's here, because a less pristine forecast is developing. Shorter period but larger windswell is on the charts for the days ahead coming from the Gulf of Alaska. In Hawaii one more longer period small-moderate sized swell is expected, originating from gale currently off the Kuril Islands. After that the outlook for Hawaii is not encouraging. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays (1/22) jetstream continued in the split mode as it has for the past week or so. That is a strong flow was pushing off Japan splitting at the dateline with the north branch pushing into the northern Gulf of Alaska while the south branch dove to the equator starting just west of Hawaii. A bit of a dead spot was in-place between the two split streams covering much of the entire Eastern Pacific, though not as bad as a few days ago. Winds coming off Japan were at at 160 kts with a decent trough in-place off the Kuril Islands, then fading fast at the split point. There were no clear indications of anything that would support surface level storm development other than the trough off the Kurils, but 50% of that was landlocked. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (1/27) the trough is to continue off Japan with winds in the 160 kt range with the split point starting to drift east, a very good sign, moving to just barely west of Hawaii. Progress is to be slow, but it's progress just the same. More energy is to be flowing into the Gulf of Alaska too, suggesting the southern branch is to be loosing energy and the northern branch (flowing through the Gulf) is to be gaining energy. These pockets of small energy pushing through the Gulf might actually help to support some minimal surface level gale development. Beyond 72 hours the same trend is to continue with the split point continuing to make slow eastward progress pushing over Hawaii to the 140W line a week out. Energy levels to fall back by Japan, but then starting to resurge next Tuesday (1/31). This offers a glimmer of hope for some semi real surface level storm development probably two weeks out.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was positioned north of HAwaii ridging north to the Aleutians bulging south and west to the dateline and east to Southern California generating brisk easterly trades in and around Hawaii but not covering as much area as days before.Two lows of interest were in-play, though neither was significant. One was off Oregon with pressure 1000 mbs generating a weak fetch of 40 kt winds aimed generally at North and Central California expected to track east into British Columbia late Wednesday generating 20-22 ft seas through the time span. This will be good for a lumpy dose of sizeable windswell with period in the 13 sec for breaks north of Pt Conception and focused best for the Pacific Northwest starting Thursday (1/26) into Friday.

Also what was to be a fairly decent system developing off the Kuril islands on Monday (1/23) has faltered producing only a broad and fragmented area of 40-50 kt winds centered near 42N 160E aimed due east, then dropping to barely 35 kt Tuesday AM and heading down from there. Seas built to 32 ft Tuesday AM, but are expected to be below 30 ft by evening. Long period swell that was expected for Hawaii and the US west coast is now downgraded, with only HAwaii expecting to see any size and that limited to swell of 6 ft @ 16 secs late Friday afternoon (1/27) holding into Saturday AM (9-10 ft faces) then fading. Much less size for the US West coast and likely buried in local short period swell on Monday (1/30).

Over the next 72 hours yet a third low is forecast in the northern Gulf of Alaska Wednesday (1/25) at 984 mbs producing 40-45 kt west winds aimed best at Washington and tracking into British Columbia late Thursday producing 27 ft seas. More 13-14 sec period swell from a northerly direction expected from Pt Conception northward on Saturday (1/28).

No other swell producing systems forecast.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (1/24) high pressure at 1028 mbs was north of Hawaii with a small ridge pushing east to South CA, but the noticeable feature was low pressure at 994 mbs pushing towards British Columbia. It's to drag a very weak front over North CA Wednesday evening with high pressure trying to build in right behind it. Then another low and associated front are forecast pushing into the same area early Friday (1/27) with high pressure behind that. Yet another weak system is expected behind that on Saturday into Sunday. The net effect of all these systems is to a few short spells of weak southerly wind followed by a moderate north flow, limited to points mostly north of Monterey Bay.

The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.

 

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

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a bit of a meandering pattern forecast a the surface while the jetstream starts to reorganize the support structure at the upper levels of the atmosphere. By Wednesday of next week (2/1) high pressure is to be playing a less dominant role in the easy and a series of small storms might start developing just east of the dateline tracking through the Gulf heading towards the Pacific Northwest. It's way to early to suspect this might actually occur, and there's no specifics worthy of mention, but at least there's some hope.

Nothing else of interest suggested.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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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

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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