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 Thursday (4/10) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and warbled but clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were maybe up to waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest high and windy. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was waist high with a few bigger sets, and not too bumpy. The LA Area southward to Orange County was maybe up to waist high and textured. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were thigh to waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high or so.
North/Central California was getting small locally generated north windswell. Southern California was getting minimal wrap around north windswell at exposed break, with most not even seeing that. Hawaii's North Shore had no swell of interest. The East Shore was seeing minimal locally generated tradewind windswell. The South Shore remained flat.
For the future the California coast is see local windswell at exposed breaks through the weekend, but size to be really on the small side. Southern CA to see some minimal southerly hemi swell coming from a very southerly angle on Sunday/Monday. Then building semi-raw swell from a supposed gale off the coast to start arriving for Monday/Tuesday, biggest up north. Nothing of interest is forecast for the North Shore of Oahu anytime soon, though northerly winds associated with strong high pressure north of the Islands is to generate larger windswell pushing into the East Shore and some wrap around capability for the North Shore Sun-Tues. A gale tracked under New Zealand on Monday (4/7) generating 18 hours of 35 ft seas targeting Hawaii pretty well, providing some potential a week out. The charts depicting another Southern Hemi gale developing Today into Friday, good for more swell on the South Shore possibly reaching California too long term. Otherwise a rather uneventful pattern is expected. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (4/10) for the North Pacific indicated something that resembled a trough tracking east just south of the Aleutians over the Western Gulf of Alaska, offering a little hope there to support surface level low pressure development. Otherwise all energy was tracking west to east and well to the north. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to continue it's eastward track, pushing into the Eastern Gulf of Alaska on Sunday. Beyond 72 hours all jetstream energy is to be flowing over or north of the Aleutian Islands, totally eliminating any odds for gale development in the swell window for our forecast area. Summer is here.
At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs remained locked over the far Eastern Pacific, ridging into the Pacific Northwest and generating 20 kt northerly winds over the outer waters of North and Central CA, though Southern CA was shadowed. Limited windswell was resulting. A second high at 1028 mbs was over the dateline sinking southeast, generating 20 kt north winds starting to push into the Hawaiian swell window. Low pressure at 1008 was 1200 nmiles north west of Hawaii generating a limited area of 35 kt winds producing 18 ft seas and expected to continue on the southeasterly track through Friday, setting up minimal 11 sec period swell for the US West Coast next week with luck. Over the next 72 hours high pressure over the US West Coast is to push inland and dissipate with light winds taking hold locally while the high over the dateline is to build strongly, to 1040 mbs on Saturday (4/12) setting up a solid fetch of 25-30 kt northeasterly winds just north of Hawaii and possibly generating sizeable windswell for exposed shores there. It's also to be scooping out a bit of moisture ahead of it which in-turn is to coalesce into low pressure with winds to 35 kts targeting the US west Coast in fit's and starts through Tuesday (4/15), with seas 18 ft pushing well into the North and Central Ca swell windows early next week. Windswell possible.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Nearshore Forecast
On Thursday (4/10) high pressure at 1030 mbs was 600 nmiles west of Monterey Bay riding into the Pacific Northwest and generating a steady flow of northwesterly winds down the coast, strongest over Cape Mendocino but mostly displaced away from nearshore waters south of there. This fetch to rapidly fade on Friday as the high pushes inland and generic 1000 mb low pressure takes hold of the Gulf of Alaska. A light wind pattern is forecast through the weekend. On Monday a weak low, really just a batch of moisture being swept ahead of a new strong high pressure system is to push over the coast, with north winds right behind. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to see a return of brisk northerly winds pushing into even Southern CA for the first 2 days of the event.
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.
A gale developed under New Zealand early Monday (4/7) at 980 mbs with 45 kt winds pushing northeast generating a small but solid area of 35 ft seas at 59S 165E in the morning and over a fading area in the evening at 56S 175E, targeting Hawaii best (due to it's close proximity). The fetch was gone by Tuesday AM (4/8) with 29 ft seas fading at 53S 178W and dissipating from there. Some odds for swell pushing into Hawaii's Southern Shores Tuesday (4/15) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces) from 195-200 degrees.
Another system developed under New Zealand Wednesday evening (4/9) with pressure 970 mbs and generating 50-55 kt confirmed winds aimed a bit to the north at 58S 171E. On Thursday AM (4/10) winds were confirmed at 60 kts at 56S 174W aimed right up the 207 degree path to California but shadowed by Tahiti and 30 degrees east of the 189 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were building from 32 ft at 59S 175E. Wind to fade a bit in the evening while seas catch up, building to 38 ft at 57S 173W. Wind to fade from 45 kts Friday AM with seas up to 42 ft early at 53S 165W, then dropping from 39 ft in the evening at 50S 160W. If this occurs a decent shot of southern hemi swell could be traveling north towards the Islands, though not the lions share of the energy. That to be headed towards Tahiti. California to remain shadowed by Tahiti for the entirety of the storm.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hrs high pressure is to retain it's supremacy, double barrelled with one at near 1044 mbs over the dateline and a second in the Gulf through Wednesday (4/16). Easterly windswell to continue for the Islands while a persistent yet unorganized north early flow baths California, generating short period windslop and suppressing water temperatures, though the bulk of the fetch to not reach the coast nor have any impact other than what was already mentioned. In short, high pressure and no real surf.
No swell producing winds are forecast.
Details to follow...
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
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Surfrider General Meeting Thursday, April 3, 2008, 7:00 pm Montara Lighthouse All are welcome! Special guest speaker Larry Miller will present a history of the Mono Lake Committee's successful campaign to preserve the lake, and will also share tales of aquatic research.
Mavericks Contest 2008: View all the action from the 2008 Maverick Surf Contest from Powelines Productions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5lj9CUpCc
Half Moon Bay Surfers - Attention: There¹s a movement afoot to dredge sand out of the Pillar Point (i.e. Half Moon Bay) Harbor and dump it just south of the jetty, so it will replenish all sand that¹s disappeared between the harbor and HMB. The guy who¹s spearheading the project, Brian Overfelt, has already received a positive preliminary reading from the local harbor commissioners. He¹s making a formal presentation to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary¹s advisory council this coming Friday (2/15) at Our Lady of Pillar church in Half Moon Bay. (It's on Kelly Ave, just east of the Coast Highway, across the street from Cunha Intermediate School.) starting at 9 AM. More details here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/hmb_dredge.html
Need Chiropractic Help? Visit our friends at Darrow Chiropractic. Not only will Dr. Darrow fix you up, he might give you some big wave surfing tips too! See more here: http://www.darrowchiropractic.com/
Grib File Switchover: The old grib1 format wave model datafiles that have been the mainstay of the National Weather service for years now are scheduled to be retired on 1/26. We switched over to the new grib2 files starting with the 00z run of Thurs 1/17. All appears to be running fine. There is no functional change to the content of the models, just that files we receive are now smaller due to improved compression of grib2. But this sets us up to start processing new higher resolution files and building new products in the months ahead. So in all it's a good maintenance level change.
Sharkwater: There's a new feature film called Sharkwater that is hitting theaters November 2nd. Sharkwater is an award winning documentary (22 international film awards including the UN and Cannes) that broke box office records in Canada, opening to bigger numbers than any documentary in history save Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me. It is a conservation film that demonstrates that the biggest influence on the air we breathe, and global warming is life in the oceans – except life in the oceans is being wiped out. Shark populations have dropped 90% in the last 30 years alone, and the oceans continue to be destroyed because nobody knows that it's happening Learn more here: http://www.sharkwater.com
Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com
Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit www.thesurfbook.com. Submit online at www.casagrandepress.com
Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists. http://www.waveridersgallery.net/
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table