On Thursday (3/2) Northern CA surf was 3-5 ft overhead or more and quite chunky with south winds starting to build. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were head high to 2 ft overhead and blown. Central California surf was head high to 1 ft over at protected breaks and not too windy. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high and maybe chest high at the best breaks on the biggest sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high, maybe chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was thigh high. The East Shore was head high.
Windswell continues to dominate California and Hawaii with generally poor conditions in control and no big change forecast. If it weren't for this localized swell there wouldn't be any swell at all. So make the most of it. Swell from the most recent storm system is pushing into CA and HI, with another storm on the charts for this weekend providing swell potential for both locales next early week. An yet another system is on the charts for the middle of next week, with swell generation potential isolated to the mainland. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream (3/2) continued to split in the far Western Pacific with no change expected. The split point has actually moved a bit east to 150E, which is good, but not far enough to make any functional difference. The southern branch continued tracking due east over Hawaii then into Central Baja while the northern branch pushed northeast just off the Kuril Islands, over the Aleutians, then dipped sharply south from Alaska tracking into the Pacific Northwest near Cape Mendocino CA. This trough off the Pacific Northwest remains the best area for swell generation. Over the next 72 hours into Sunday (3/5) the split in the jetstream is to remain pronounced with the split point moving a bit further east to 160E, with most energy in the northern branch pushing over the Aleutians The trough currently in the eastern Gulf of Alaska is to hold while pushing into northmost California supporting some form of surface level gale. Beyond 72 hours the only change is to be more energy building in the Gulf trough with winds to 150 kts forecast driving into California next Thursday (3/9) and the trough there pushing even further east, almost completely inland. This trough to provide some support for another surface level gale but tucked up against Canada.
At the surface today a gale low was just off the Oregon coast at 996 mbs with 30 kt northwest winds pushing towards and into outer Californian waters. Seas were 23-24 ft there and fading as the gale pushed inland. Moderately large junky swell was already pushing into California expected to continue into Friday with swell to 10-11 ft @ 14 secs expected north of Pt Conception. Sideband swell was pushing towards Hawaii too expected to reach Northeast Shores on Friday with swell to 5.2 ft @ 13 secs.
Otherwise a pair of high pressure systems controlled the Central North Pacific with one at 1024 mbs over the dateline ridging southwest to the equator and another north of Hawaii at 1028 mbs ridging south across Hawaii and east to Baja. The only low of interest was the one previously mentioned off the Pacific Northwest.
Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (3/5) another low is to drop southeast out of the Gulf of Alaska and start developing decently by Saturday (3/4) with pressure down to 988 mbs and winds up to 45 kt in the gales west and east sides, blowing south winds up along the California coast late while generating north winds over open waters about 800 nmiles offshore. The low is to continue wrapping up on Sunday with 40-45 kt west winds pushing east towards California and generating 32 ft seas aimed well from Santa Cruz south to the Channel Islands. The low itself to push into the Pacific Northwest on Monday while residual fetch from the storm pushes into the California coast mostly north of Pt Conception. More moderately large raw and warbled swell to push into the north coast starting Monday at 13 ft @ 13-14 secs continuing into Tuesday with small to moderate sideband energy reaching Hawaii Tuesday as well at 5 ft @ 13 secs.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (3/2) the models suggest lot's of wind for the California coast through Thursday (3/9) with only a few short-lived 12 hour pockets of wind 10 kts or less. One of those tiny windows is Saturday AM (extending into Sunday AM in Southern CA) with the next Wednesday (3/8) AM. All winds some form of south then turning northwest Tuesday, and in excess of 15 kts regardless of direction (up to 45 kts in North CA Sunday AM).
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 starting Tuesday (3/7) another 976 mb low is to drop from Alaska into the Gulf setting up northwest winds to 45-50 kts late continuing into Wednesday AM aimed towards California from a very northern angle. The low to push into Canada and continuing southeast into Thursday generating more but fading northwest winds pushing into outer Californian waters. 30 ft seas are to build to 37 ft Thursday on the very northern edge of the NCal swell window, and outside of the window for Central and South CA. No fetch to be aimed at Hawaii.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast.
Details to follow...
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Mavericks Surf Contest and Stormsurf
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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