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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: April 23, 2006 12:46 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 2.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 4/17 thru Sun 4/23
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Summer Pattern Settling In
South Pacific Trying But Not There Yet

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (4/23) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high, sloppy and windblown. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf was waist to chest high and clean. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high at a few better spots and reasonably clean early, but flat at most. The LA Area southward to Orange County was near flat with best spots pushing waist high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to maybe chest high on the peaks of the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was knee high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was thigh high - tradewind swell.

It's over with a summer like pattern in control. For California the best hopes are now locally generated windswell coming from the Cape Mendocino area, with another scheduled this week, and southern hemi swell, though none of that with any real push is forecast. One more gale is forecast for the Gulf of Alaska mid-week, but it's to be short lived and very weak, and whatever swell it produces will likely be lost in the local windswell. Hawaii's Northern Shores to see a little dribble of north swell initially this week, with a stronger pulse from that Gulf gale mentioned above following possibly sending what will likely be the last rideable swell of the season south for next weekend. A bit of southern windswell for the South Shores this week too. The southern hemi is trying, but most activity is isolated to the far Southeastern Pacific and even that is not particularly well organized, with only dribbles expected targeting California and locations south of there. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream charts (4/23) indicated a big split pattern over the western Pacific with the southern branch pushing northeast off Japan and the northern branch tracking southeast over the Northern Kuril Islands. Both merged at the dateline diving into the Gulf of Alaska with winds there to 150 kts carving out a small but steep trough in the Central Gulf that then lifted sharply north into Alaska. This trough was the only area capable of supporting surface level gale development but that was not occurring. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (4/26) the Gulf trough is to push inland over Canada by Monday while the split flow continues in the west. Virtually no indication of support for gale development suggested until late Wednesday when a tiny trough/dip in the jet starts to set up in the northern Gulf of Alaska. Beyond 72 hours that trough to look respectable by Thursday (4/27) tracking east through the northern Gulf but only 120 kt winds to be flowing under it and withering, all but non-existent by the weekend while a strong ridge sets up over the dateline pushing well up into the Bering Sea likely indicating the development of large and strong high pressure over the Western Pacific.

At the surface on Sunday (4/23) high pressure at 1024 mbs was centered north of Hawaii ridging east and west with a secondary high pushing inland over the Pacific Northwest. No swell producing low pressure was indicated anywhere across the North Pacific. No other swell producing systems forecast over the next 72 hours with high pressure moving east towards California at 1024 mbs while another high drops south out of the west Bering Sea over the dateline at 1026 mbs.

On Friday (4/21) a weak 996 mb low was over the eastern most Aleutians generating a small area of 30 kt west winds and 18-19 ft seas aimed towards the US west coast, but positioned a long ways away. Minimal hope for windswell to result from this one for California though Hawaii might get some sideband 3.9 ft @ 11-12 sec windswell (4.0-4.5 ft faces) late Mon/Tues (4/24-25).

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (4/23) satellite and model data indicated high pressure was in control of the waters off California at 1024 mbs. Gradient north winds that were generating windswell off Cape Mendocino were fading fast with alight winds regime expected through Tuesday. But a new batch of high pressure is forecast to be tracking east impacting the coast late Wednesday with north winds building again to the 30-35 kt range off the Cape with windswell on the increase, holding through late Thursday. Fortunately these winds are to not impact the coast south of Pt Reyes, though a south eddy flow will likely be in-effect Thursday and Friday all the way down into Southern CA (south wind 10 kts). The gradient to hold through the weekend in the 25-30 kt range producing short period windswell for North and Central Ca but the fetch itself to possibly sweep over coastal locations into Central CA on Sunday with 15-20 kt north winds nearshore.

The detailed 5 Day wind forecast is included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
The jetstream is to be pushing over Antarctica south of New Zealand pretty much non-stop through the next 7 days, with the only openings of interest isolated to the far Southeastern PAcific. The surface level weather pattern to reflect this flow with all activity isolated to the Southeast Pacific.

At the surface over the next 72 hours strong high pressure at 1032 mbs to be locked in just east of New Zealand shutting down the storm corridor there. One small low is forecast to develop southeast of the high nearly over Antarctica on Monday (4/24) at 960 mbs producing 40-45 kt southwest winds and lifting northeast through Tuesday, then rapidly decaying Wednesday. Seas forecast at 32 ft over a small area late Monday at 63S 142W (well east of the Hawaiian swell window) and up to 35 ft Tuesday fading away Wednesday before reaching the eastern edge of the California swell window. These seas to be targeting California and locations south of there with perhaps some small swell with period in the 15-17 sec range possible. Nothing from this system for Hawaii through.

No other swell producing fetch was present or forecast to occur.

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a weak 996 mb low is to drop out of the Bering Sea into the northwest Gulf of Alaska on Wednesday (4/26) generating 30-35 kt northwest winds and 20-22 ft seas aimed initially at Hawaii then towards the Central Canadian coast through Friday (4/28). More small to moderate sized 12-13 sec period windswell possible if this comes to pass. High pressure to be moving east at the same time though setting up another bout of north winds along the Cape Mendocino area of North California in the 30 kt range producing 14 ft seas starting late Wednesday into Thursday (4/27) fading to 25 kts with 10-12 ft seas and holding through the weekend. Short period windswell the likely result for North and Central CA.

Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another broad gale is forecast in the deep Southeast Pacific starting early Thursday (4/27) but a bit decentralized with pressure dipping to 948 mbs and winds 45 kts ramping up to 55 kts over a tiny area but all aimed east to southeast towards the southern tip of South America supposedly producing 42 ft seas pushing into Antarctica. But that does us no good. 35-40 kt winds are forecast off the back side of this gale aimed north and east initially towards Hawaii and then California. Those winds to produce 25-28 ft seas Thurs/Fri which area generally below the threshold to survive the long journey northwards across the equator, but we'll keep an eye on it anyway.

No other swell producing systems forecast.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

New Content - QuikCAST's and Satellite Altimetry: Stormsurf has been busy this winter putting some new things together. First up is two new QuikCAST's for the Northeast US Coast, one for Cape Hatteras-to-Virginia Beach and another for New Jersey-to-New York. Check them out Here
Also we now provide Jason-1 Altimetry data overlaid on our Wavewatch III wave models. Take a look Here

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Mavericks Surf Contest and Stormsurf
- Science hangs 10 at Surf Contest: CNET - Read it Here
- Pillar Point Unique Conditions swell Mavericks Monsters: Rough seabed, winds and seas currents to create California biggest surfing challenge; San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here
- Tyler Smith's Quest: Chasing the Moby Dick of the Surfing World: San Francisco Chronicle - Read it Here

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

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