On Tuesday (2/28) Northern CA surf was 1-3 ft overhead and thrashed by wind and chop. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high and wind blown. Central California surf was chest high and junky. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist to chest high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was up to waist high. The South Shore was up to waist high. The East Shore was 3-4 ft overhead high.
Windswell dominates California and Hawaii with generally poor conditions in control. It's all coming from the same source through, namely fading low pressure that was off the Pacific Northwest and California. Another dose of stronger windswell is in the works though, this time from a gale forming in the Gulf of Alaska. Most energy to be directed towards California over the next few days, though conditions are to be less than ideal once the swell hits. And yet another Gulf gale to follow over the weekend if the models are accurate. Some energy from these system are to spread into Hawaii too. But in all, nothing great to write home about. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream (2/28) continued to be very split with no change expected. The split point remained just west of Taiwan near 115E with the southern branch tracking due east over Hawaii then into Central Baja while the northern branch pushed northeast over the Kuril Islands and across the Aleutians, but then dipped sharply south from Alaska tracking into British Columbia near Vancouver Island. This was the most fertile ground for swell generation. Over the next 72 hours into Friday (3/3) the split in the jetstream is to remain very pronounced, though most energy is to start tracking into the northern branch pushing over the Aleutians where a thin but steady stream of 140 kt winds are to persist. The trough currently south of Alaska is to hold while pushing into northmost Oregon supporting some form of surface level gale. Beyond 72 hours the only change is to be development of another trough in the eastern Gulf of Alaska feeding in tot he Pacific Northwest but starting to pinch off over the weekend then moving fully inland by Tuesday (3/7) of next week. This trough to provide some support for another surface level gale.
At the surface today low pressure at 984 mbs was in the Gulf of Alaska with a 1032 mb high pressure system just to the west of it, over the Aleutians and ridging south into southern Baja. Another 1024 mb high was off the Southern Kamchatka peninsula ridging east to almost the dateline. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (3/3) the Gulf of Alaska low to be the only real swell source in the North Pacific. It is to drop southeast through Thursday eventually fading off off Oregon while driving a consistent 35-40 kt flow of northwest winds towards and right up to the California coast, generating 22-25 ft seas, peaking late Wednesday briefly to 28 ft. This to result in some form of raw lumpy swell pushing into North California Thursday working it's way down the coast through the day. Also indirect sideband energy to reach Hawaii Friday, generated early in this gales life in the northern Gulf.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (2/28) the models suggest lot's of south to southwest winds for the California coast for the next week as 3 systems push down from the Gulf and into the coast. At this time all of it is to be confined from Pt Conception with the worst north of Pt Reyes. still, and already agitated sea state will only get more reinforcements over the coming week with clean conditions not likely north of 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 late Friday (3/3) another small 986 mb low is to drop from the southeast most Bering Sea into the Gulf of Alaska setting up northwest winds to 40-45 kts late aimed towards California and continuing southwest into Saturday. The low to hold off California/Oregon with additional 40 kt fetch developing in the lows north quadrant aimed west towards Hawaii. 29 ft seas to be aimed a bit west of California with 22 ft seas taking aim on Hawaii. The whole thing to occlude and fade out through the day Sunday as seas fade from 29 ft.
There 's a remote chance for some of the energy from the main part of this storm to track into Hawaii Monday (3/6), but best bets are on more large windswell for California Monday into Tuesday (3/7).
Yet a third weaker low to drop from the eastern Gulf over California Tuesday of next week, bringing more junky windswell.
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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table