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 Sunday (2/17) Northern CA surf was 2-4 feet overhead and almost clean, though there was a slight onshore flow, and residuals from swell #19 were still obviously in the water, but down to a much more manageable size range. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to maybe head high and clean. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was head high to 2 ft overhead and clean. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was head high to 1 ft overhead and clean with lines to the horizon. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest high and glassy. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were head high to 2 ft overhead and clean. The North Shore of Oahu was waist to maybe chest high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was flat.
North/Central California was getting the last bit's of swell from strong Storm #19 originating on the dateline earlier in the week but way down from Friday and Saturdays booming long period clean swell stacked up as far as the eye could see. Southern California was getting solid energy from Swell #19 too, but way down from yesterdays peak. Hawaii's North Shore was really in the calm zone, with only small waves lapping into the North Shore. The East Shore was flat. The South Shore was seasonally flat.
No swell producing weather systems of interest are occurring in the North Pacific today. The jetstream flow remains just ripping from west to east and pushing to within 1000 nmiles of the California coast but with no troughs of interest, not providing a configuration favorable for storm development. The energy is definitely there, just not the required twists and turns. At the surface maybe a gale is forecast building in the Gulf mid-week, but the models have been all over the map on this one, first suggesting a big storm pattern there a few days ago, and now suggesting maybe only a weak little series of local systems off California pushing east. Suspect the later most recent data is probably closer to the truth. A series of broad gales are forecast pushing off Japan starting late week, but there are to get shunted quickly northeast and out of the picture, perhaps offering only intermediate class surf for Hawaii and nothing for the West Coast. So we go from feast to famine in 24 hours. Hope you got your fill while the table wa full. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (2/17) for the North Pacific depicted a solid consolidated flow pushing dead flat off Japan at 190-200 kts moving over the dateline to a point just 1000 nmiles west of San Francisco then splitting with the northern branch pushing hard north into Alaska and the southern branch pushing hard south then turning eat and pushing into Baja. The only thing of any remote interest was associated with the split to the north, making a weak trough there in the Gulf of Alaska. But even at that only weak support for surface level low pressure development appeared likely. Over the next 72 hours solid consolidated jetstream energy is to steam eastward reaching the California coast Wednesday (2/20) with winds at 160 kts stretching the whole wa from Japan to the US. Only the faintest hint of a trough was suggested on the dateline, but not really enough to do anything. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to fall apart, splitting on the dateline late Saturday (2/23) with the northern branch pushing due north into the Bering Sea while the flow to the east continues plowing into the US West Coast for a while, but that likely won't last long. Suspect upper high pressure to again build in the west.
At the surface today weak low pressure, actually two low pressure cores almost joined covered the entire North Pacific. One was centered off the Kuril Islands with another in the Western Gulf of Alaska just south of the Eastern Aleutians. They were generating a broad but unorganized fetch of 25-30 kts west winds with most fetch just some of the core of both lows. Seas to 24 ft were located where the strongest winds were, at roughly 37N 163E and 40N 170W offering maybe background swell potential for HAwaii with period in the 13 secs range, but nothing more.
Over the next 72 hours these lows are to push eat and try and congeal in the Gulf of Alaska forming a semi organized gale there Tuesday (2/19) with pressure 980 mbs and generating a tiny fetch of 45 kts winds at 43N 158W aimed towards California. It's to push east through Wednesday eventually impacting British Columbia late in the day and fading. 30 ft seas are forecast from this one Wednesday AM near 45N 145W pushing down the 300 degree path to North CA (305 SCal), then fading as the low pushes inland. Maybe limited swell for California, but weather to likely be an issue by the time it reaches the coast. No other systems of interest were forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Nearshore Forecast