On Sunday (1/29) Northern CA surf was 1-4 ft overhead and jumbled though reasonably clean. South facing breaks were head high to 1 ft overhead and warbled. Central California surf was chest to head high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high at the best spots with most flat. The LA area southward to Orange County was up to waist high with many spots smaller. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high.The North Shore of Oahu was chest high. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was chest high too from easterly windswell.
Northern and Central California was seeing another in a continued string of relatively locally generated swells move in from the Gulf of Alaska but from too steep of an angle to have any impact on the south end of the state. Hawaii was in a lull for now but that to last only a few days if the models are right as a series of stronger and larger storms builds just west of the dateline tracking east into the Gulf of Alaska sending what is expected to be significant class energy south to the Islands and then eventually east to the Pacific Northwest and California. But the models have been teasing us lately, only to back off right before a storm is to form, so confidence remains low. Will know better by mid-week, when the pattern change is to take place. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays (1/29) jetstream continued in the split mode, but showing signs of improvement each day. At present a solid but thin flow was pushing off Japan at 170 kts tracking east, then splitting just northwest of Hawaii with the northern branch pushing into the Pacific Northwest with winds 140 kts while the south branch dove to the equator pushing right over Hawaii at 80 kts. A small dead spot remained in-place between the two split streams off Southern California and high pressure was in-place there, but loosing ground. A trough was trying to organize off the Kuril Islands but not much was evident just yet. The best chance for support of surface level storm development remained off the Kurils. Over the next 72 hours the most interesting feature is to the be Kuril trough expected to track east to the dateline and amplify some on Monday with winds to 190 kts in it's eastern quadrant, which isn't the best to support storm development. After that the trough is to flatten out but with a large area of solid wind energy continuing to track east and moderating to 160 kts on Wednesday, extending from the dateline east through the Gulf of Alaska and poised to push inland over south Oregon. The problematic split in the jet is to get shoved east to and be all but inland over the US West Coast by Wednesday. Beyond 72 hours the energy in the Gulf is to fade rapidly while a new batch of energy builds off Japan by Friday (1/29) with winds back to 170 kts, and then 190 kts Saturday pushing to the dateline holding there and expanding through the weekend. A bit of a split flow looks to start re-developing east of Hawaii where the jet's energy lags, but this does not look particularly problematic. Best shot for storm development will be over the dateline during that time.
At the surface today a small patch of high pressure at 1024 mbs was positioned off South California influencing weather back west to Hawaii and north to Northern California, but that's it. Lower pressure appeared to have the upper hand with one broad but weak system at 988 mbs in the Gulf of Alaska and a smaller but more compact system at 972 mbs over the dateline. The Gulf system was modeled to have no swell producing potential, but the dateline system was of more interest. See Dateline Storm #12 below for details. No other swell producing system of interest were forecast over the next 72 hours.
Possible Dateline Storm #12
On Sunday (1/29) the 973 mb low was on the dateline scheduled to drop to 968 mbs by evening. A tiny fetch of 45-50 kts winds to persist through the day at 43N 177E aimed initially at Hawaii up the 320 degree path then turning more towards California up the 298 degree path. Seas to 32 ft over tiny area of no real consequence at 43N 177E by nightfall.
On Monday (1/30) the low is to expand it's fetch with pressure holding at 968 mbs over the dateline. A broad area of 40-45 kt winds is forecast to build looking decent by nightfall at 38N 175W with seas building to 33 ft at 38N 179W. The fetch is to be aimed generally 30 degree east of the 315 degree path to Hawaii and 15-20 degrees south of the 290 degree path to North California. This looks decent but not great.
By Tuesday (1/31) the low is to become elongated and is to string into the Gulf of Alaska to almost the Pacific Northwest coast with a long fetch of 30-35 kts winds aimed northeast. Winds still continuing in association with the original low at 40-45 kts at 39N 170W with seas to 36 ft at 38N 173W. This fetch to bee aimed all to the east towards California up the 290 degree path with sideband energy likely pushing south towards Hawaii. By nightfall the storm per se is to be gone with residual 30 ft seas forecast at 38N 165W and rapidly fading.
This is looking to be a reasonably decent storm (actually a gale) considering what has been in play lately, which is not much. In reality 36 hours of 40-45 kt winds is all that's expected producing an equal duration of 30-36 ft seas pushing a bit more towards California than Hawaii but still good enough for sizeable small significant class 17-18 sec period swell for both if all evolves as forecast. Will monitor.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (1/29) the models suggest protective high pressure to remain in control, giving up little ground over the coming week. The only exception is a weak front expected to pass through the San Francisco Bay Area late Monday allowing the potential for some south winds to Monterey Bay, otherwise a light wind regime to be in play. Another front is forecast early next weekend (Saturday 1/4) with a strong high pressure system forecast to build behind building the Cape Mendocino gradient and brisk north winds over exposed waters south through Pt Conception.
The detailed 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 a stronger storm is forecast developing off North Japan tracking towards the dateline on Thursday (2/2) with pressure down to 956 mbs. 60-65 kt winds forecast in the storms south quadrant at 43N 173E aimed east at California up the 297 degree path and 35 degrees east of the 319 degree path to Hawaii. This storm to hold solid through Friday AM (2/3) as it crosses the dateline with a broad fetch of 55 kt winds aimed east with 46 ft seas forecast aimed well towards California but with sideband energy likely heading southeast towards Hawaii. Then by evening a rapid decline to set in with only 40-45 kt winds left by Saturday AM and fading fast from there. 47 ft seas forecast Friday AM pushing down the 297 degree path to Ncal down to 43 ft by Saturday AM. It's still quite a ways off but this could be Storm # 13. Significant class swell would be expected for both Hawaii and California if this develops as expected.
Another smaller but solid system is forecast to follow directly over next weekend migrating from the dateline into the Gulf of Alaska with fetch aimed a little better towards Hawaii initially then swinging towards California. This remains a reach for the models.
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