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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: June 2, 2005 9:15 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 = 1.5 - California & 3.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 5/30 thru Sun 5/5
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   

Fiji Swell Moves Towards Hawaii
Chilean Swell for South Facing California Breaks

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Thursday (6/2) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and bumpy. South facing breaks were waist high, maybe occasionally bigger. Central California was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were mainly flat with best break barely waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high with best breaks to chest high. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high with occasional chest high sets at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was near flat.

Windswell to continue for the California's North and Central coasts with minor variation from day to day. Swell from a big storm in the Tasman Sea last week to reach Hawaii providing rideable surf for the weekend. A weak little storm is forecast east of New Zealand providing some minimal long term hope. But in all a relatively quiet pattern to continue. See details below...

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

North Pacific

Overview
At the jetstream level on Thursday (6/2) nothing of interest was occurring (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a weak trough is to set up on the dateline Saturday (6/4) with some 130-140 kt winds flowing into it late Sunday then fading through the mid-week. This might support some minimal activity at the surface.

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs continued strong in the Eastern Pacific producing north winds off Cape Mendocino, CA (more details in the California Offshore Forecast). Typhoon Nesat continued developing in the Far Western Pacific, a product of the latest active phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (more details below). A weak 1004 mb low was midway between the Kuril Islands and the dateline tracking northeast and was not generating any swell producing fetch (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the little low off Japan is expected to continue tracking east-northeast eventually reaching the dateline early Saturday (6/4). Then pressure is to drop to 992 mbs with a brief burst of 40-45 kt northwest winds developing in it's west quadrant aimed reasonably well at Hawaii and wrapping into it's south quadrant aimed east of Hawaii by Saturday evening. Sea building briefly to 20 ft (with luck) pushing towards Hawaii. Some barely rideable windswell likely along north facing shores Wednesday (6/8). No other swell producing systems forecast.

More model data here

 

California Offshore Forecast
Thursday mornings local charts (6/2) depicted solid high pressure at 1026 mbs 850 nmiles west of San Francisco, CA holding stationary. Weak low pressure was over southern Nevada, helping to set up the usual pressure gradient off the North California coast. North winds at 30-40 kts were positioned nearshore from Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Conception. This same basic pattern is to hold into Tuesday of next week though slightly weaker starting Saturday (6/4) with the core of the winds drifting south to Monterey Bay by Sunday (6/5). Still 25-35 kt winds are expected over waters just 25 nmiles offshore with copious 8-9 sec period local windswell expected .

This same basic scenario is to hold though next week with the core of the fetch moving to the Pt Conception area by Tuesday (6/7). The high is to remain anchored west of California at 1028 mbs.

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Thursday (6/2) the jetstream continued with the big ridge pushing south to Antarctica a bit more to the east of New Zealand then lifting only near the coast of Chile. A new pinched trough was present just east of new Zealand hugging the coast there. Winds were up to 120 kts on the west side of the trough (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the trough east of New Zealand is to quickly fade by Saturday AM (6/4) as all energy again crashes south into Antarctica, now even further to the west. No change thereafter with high pressure in the upper atmosphere in control of the entire South Pacific.

At the surface today strong high pressure at 1036 mbs remained positioned southeast of New Zealand over the Central South Pacific pushing south to almost the Ross Ice Shelf, completely blocking the Antarctic storm corridor. A new fetch was off Chile pushing towards the South American continent at 35-40 kts, but was outside the California swell window. No other systems of interest were present (animation here).

The models suggest that some of the fetch from a storm currently pushing across New Zealand is to survive briefly redevelop just along the eastern New Zealand coast late Thursday (6/2) with pressure 980 mbs. By Friday AM (6/3) winds on the west side of the low to build to 45-50 kts over a tiny area centered at 43S 175E aimed up the 210 degree path to Hawaii and the 215 degree path to California. This low to drift east through early Saturday (6/4) with winds in the 40-45 kt range aimed well at Hawaii and California, then fading late that night. Seas forecast to 33 ft over a tiny area Friday PM (6/3) building to 35 ft Saturday AM at 39S 175W then down to 32 ft in the evening at 36S 172W. The fetch in this system is to track northeast as it moves from the west quadrant into the storm north quadrant, allowing it's winds to act on already agitated seas and providing a little bit more push to the resulting swell. Still, this is to be a very small fetch area limiting it's swell generation potential. At this time there's some hope for a decent swell for Hawaii due to their relative proximity to this tiny fetch but less for California due to decay as the swell makes the long journey northeast towards the coast. And there's always the issue that the storm hasn't even started to form yet.

More model data here

 

Fiji Storm
(We're including this mainly for the benefit of Fiji and because there's nothing else to forecast.)
Storm History
Of most interest is a very strong storm complex forecast to develop south of Tasmania on Wednesday AM (5/25) pressure was a very deep 944 mbs and in close proximity to a strong 1032 mb high under New Zealand. Hurricane force winds of 60-80 kts were confirmed in the tight pressure gradient between these two weather systems in the storms west and northwest quadrants centered at 57S 137E. These winds were aimed 30 degrees north of the 220 degree great circle path to California and 20 degrees north of the 210 degree path to Hawaii and Fiji. Seas were building. By evening things continued very strong, though not as quite over the top as earlier. Pressure was up to 946 mbs with winds confirmed at 55-65 kts centered at 57S 140E aimed just like before but moving almost to the eastern edge of the Fiji/Hawaii swell window. Seas were modeled at 36 ft over a tiny area centered at 56S 138E.

On Thursday AM (5/26) storm pressure held at 946 mbs but it was tracking east, away from the high and the tight gradient that was generating the winds started to relax. Wind forecast down to 50-55 kts aimed north northeast, centered at 57S 143E. These winds are to be aimed 30 degrees north of the 218 degree path to California (N & S) but right up the 209 degree great circle path to Hawaii and Fiji. This is just outside the swell window for Hawaii, cut off by the northern heel of New Zealand. Seas were modeled at 38 ft centered at 52S 140E. By evening this system continued tracking east with pressure 948 mbs but no wind of interest was being generated. Secondary fetch started to develop as a kink in the isobars from remnants of the storm start interacting with high pressure still south of Australia. Pressure was 976 mbs. Winds were confirmed at 50 kts centered at 50S 139E. Decaying 33 ft seas were modeled at 48S 148E (just south of Tasmania).

By Friday AM (5/27) weak secondary fetch continued pushing into the Tasman Sea. Pressure was 976 mbs. Winds were confirmed at 40-45 kts centered at 45S 150E aimed right up the rare 230 degree path to California (through the Tasman Sea) and aimed right at Fiji and Hawaii up the 215 degree path. These winds were acting on already well agitated seas from the previous days fetch, getting good traction an quickly re-generating 35 ft seas centered at 49S 142E. In the evening the low tracked northeast with pressure 980 mbs and winds confirmed at 40-45 kts through the evening but loosing size, centered at 46S 155E, aimed just like before. 31 ft seas were tracking northeast centered at 46S 147E and impacting Tasmania with some slipping east heading up into the Tasman Sea.

On Saturday AM (5/28) the low held if not organized a little better, positioned just off the southwest tip of New Zealand with pressure 980 mbs with winds holding at 35-40 kts over a small area centered at 43S 152E, down considerably from previous forecasts. These winds to be aimed right up the rare 230 degree path to California and the 215 degree path to Fiji and Hawaii. 29 ft seas were centered at 43S 155E pushing northeast and decaying as the winds held at rather meager levels. In the evening the low continued drifting east right over the southern tip of New Zealand with pressure 980 mbs while strong high pressure at 1032 mbs held over Southeast Australia. The gradient between these two systems continued generating moderate gales with wind confirmed at 35-45 kts over a moderate area aimed northeast in the Tasman Sea. These winds were centered at 37S 159E aimed at NCal up the 331-233 degree path and out of the Fiji shadow but just barely outside the Southern CA swell window. Also these winds were aimed at Fiji and Hawaii up the 214 degree path. 29 ft seas modeled at 40S 155E and heading right towards Fiji.

By Sunday AM (5/29) the last bit of energy is expected to be produced from this system before it fades. The low itself is to be over New Zealand at 980 mbs but fetch is to hold in the Tasman Sea aimed northeast. Winds forecast up a little to 30-35 kts centered at 35S 165E aimed right up the 233 degree path to California and just a bit east of the 212 degree path to Hawaii and Fiji. These winds are to be out of the Fiji Island shadow for California. Seas forecast at 29 ft centered at 35S 162E. By evening residual winds of 30-35 kts are forecast off the northern tip of New Zealand at 32S 177E aimed east northeast or right up the 229 degree path to California and 30 degrees east of the 207 degree path to Hawaii and not aimed at Fiji anymore. Seas fading fast, at 27 ft centered at 32S 168E, decaying remnants of the previous days fetch.

On Monday (5/30) this system is to be dead. The resulting swell hit Fiji about as forecast, with 12-15 ft sets (faces) arriving mid-afternoon.

On Tuesday (5/31) swell continued at Fiji with waves still in the 12-15 ft+ range (faces).

Swell Generation Potential
This started out as a really impressive storm under Australia but quickly faded, and by the time the oceans surface started getting really agitated the core winds had already dropped off. But the models suggested those seas were to track north into the Tasman Sea with additional fetch acting on them to add more energy, though not as strong as the initial fetch. That sort of was happening, but nowhere near as strong as was originally forecast. Based on a mixture of confirmed and forecast data, a good amount of swell is to track northeast up through the Tasman Sea towards Fiji. Fiji will get some solid surf, but most of this energy is is expected to be shadowed from Hawaii and California by the South Pacific Islands. Hawaii might get some fun size surf from whatever survives the shadow. If anything North California has a better chance of seeing some swell than South CA, but even that is splitting hairs. Impulse class potential at best there.

Surf Forecast
Fiji: Swell down to 4.7 ft @ 11-12 secs on Friday (6/3) producing 5-6 ft faces. Swell Direction 212-219 degrees

Next up is Hawaii, which is also on the right path. It is to be 4120-5722 nmiles away giving it plenty of distance for the swell to even out. But there is a much greater problem. That is that Fiji and it's associated islands are sitting right in the the middle of the swell corridor. Most energy from this swell is expected to be significantly clipped off as it travels northeast. Swell arrival expected late Thursday (6/2) with period at 20 secs (assuming that energy makes it through the shadow) and peaking by late Friday (6/3) through the day Saturday (6/4) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16-17 secs (3-4 ft faces). Swell solid on Sunday (6/5) up to 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Swell slowly backing down with swell 2.6 ft @ 14 secs on Monday early (6/6) (3.0-3.5 ft faces) fading through Wednesday (6/8) as period drops to 11 secs. Swell Direction: 216-220 degrees

California is well down the road and will suffer a variety of setbacks including a small window to shoot the swell through (Tasman Sea), then getting shadowed by the Fiji Island chain, and then what survives that has a very long journey to cover before reaching the coast (6035-7509 nmiles). Forerunners expected to hit starting early Sunday (6/5) with period at 20 secs building slowly and peaking late Monday (6/6) through Tuesday evening (6/7) with swell 1.0-1.3 ft @ 16-17 secs. Residuals through Thursday (6/9) at 1.3-1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2 ft faces), then fading on Friday (6/10) with period down to 13-14 secs. Lucky if it's rideable. Swell Direction 228-235 degrees

 

Chilean Pulse (South CA)
On Saturday AM (5/28) a new 944 mb storm developed in the far Southeastern Pacific off Chile sitting in the upper trough there. It had confirmed winds of 40-45 kts aimed north but poorly organized by the evening and was looking even less organized Sunday AM (5/29). By Monday AM (5/30) pressure was 952 mbs with confirmed winds surprisingly up to 50 kts at 58S 103W aimed north-northwest up the 175 degree great circle path to Southern CA. But by the evening it faded to 35-40 kts. Seas built briefly to 27 ft at 55S 107W.

This should be good for a small pulse of south-southeast swell at the right breaks in Southern California arriving before sunrise on Saturday (6/4) with swell 2.6 ft @ 15-16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) and holding through the day. Minimal remnants on Sunday (6/5) at 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft early) and fading with a second pulse arriving Monday (6/6) with swell building to 3 ft @ 15-16 secs late in the day (4.0-4.5 ft). Residuals expected on Tuesday (6/7) at 2.6 ft @ 14 secs (3.0-3.5 ft) and hanging on in the 2.6 ft @ 13-14 secs range (3 ft faces) through Thursday (6/9). Swell Direction 175-180 degrees.

Northern California is less clear cut, mainly because of the very steep southerly angle which will likely cut down the size at whatever breaks it does make it to. Rough data suggests swell 2.2 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) starting late Saturday (6/4) fading through Sunday then rebounding late Monday (6/6) with equal size and period fading through Wednesday (6/8). Only the most south fading breaks to see anything from this swell though. Swell Direction: 175-180 degrees

 

QuikCAST

 

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

North Pacific

Thursday models (6/2) indicated that beyond 72 hours a very weak upper flow is to persist tracking generally south of the Aleutians. Additional low pressure is to try and develop just off the Kuril's merging with low pressure east of the dateline late Sunday (6/5) but not developing any swell producing fetch. Just generalized low pressure to result stretching from the dateline into the northern Gulf of Alaska pushing into the Gulf and fading there late next week.

 

MJO Update (updated 6/1)
The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) started going negative on Saturday (5/14) and has slowly been creeping up since then, though still remained in the solidly negative range. It's started at -43 reading on Tuesday (5/17) and creeped up to -10 by 5/27, but then dropped to -25 on Tuesday (5/31) and now currently hovers at -17 (6/2). That's 20 days in the negative range. Overall the 30 day average SOI is -15 and the 90 day average is at -8. The current dip in SOI is associated with the active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), currently pushing along the equator into the West Pacific, centered near the dateline. This had been forecast and actuals are tracking well to the projections. The SOI measures the difference in surface pressure between Darwin Australia and Tahiti. Consistently positive values signify La Nina and negative one signify El Nino. El Nino conditions support the development of stronger, larger and more consistent winter storms in the North Pacific and decreased Atlantic tropical storm activity.

In association with a negative SOI and and active phase of the MJO, one typically starts looking for development of a Westerly Wind Burst (WWB). This past months dip in the SOI had produced only near neutral winds in the far Western Equatorial Pacific and we had written off the potential for WWB development, but were pleasantly surprised when the neutral winds started actually blowing from the west (to east) on Tuesday (5/31) extending east to 160E. QuikSCAT imagery indicated west winds at 15 kts to 155E, not much, but a start. WWB's are typically caused by the formation of low pressure on the north and south sides equator. As would be expected, low pressure north of the equator near 145E started amplifying on Wednesday (6/1) into Typhoon Nesat. Sustained winds currently 115 kts and forecast to 130 kts by Saturday (6/4) as it approaches the Philippines, then turning north and northeast. A WWB is a product of more invigorated active phase of the MJO and can produce a Kelvin Wave (a bubble of warm water that tracks east under the equator towards Ecuador, then erupts at the surface generating a large pool of warmer than normal surface water there). Models suggest return to near normal conditions over the next few days as the inactive phase of the MJO takes hold, continuing through mid-June. This is but one indicator of very mild El Nino conditions, but not conclusive by itself, though there has been a steady push towards such a state. You can monitor the state of El Nino and the MJO here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/links/ensocurr.html

 

South Pacific

On Thursday (6/2) beyond 72 hours out the jetstream is to continue ridging strongly south into Antarctica covering most of the South Pacific. No indications of any support for storm development suggested.

At the surface no swell producing fetch is forecast.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

El Nino Forecast Updated: Check out all the latest indicators to get a handle on how the Summer and Fall seasons could unfold. http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/enso/current.shtml

Big Florida Swell: A strong gale pushed off Cape Hatteras on 4/15 generating solid seas and a 70 ft rogue wave that hit a cruise ship before proceeded south to make solid waves for the Southeast US coast. Matt Kechele was there to catch it. Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/kechele.html

Stormsurf Weather Models Updated Again: Yes, we've been at it again this weekend getting another batch of weather models running. Global coverage is now provided for jetstream forecasts and surface pressure and winds. Zoomed in data is also available for such locations as the Mentawai Islands to Western Australia corridor, Tahiti, South America, Europe and Norwegian Sea. So now you can get local wind forecasts for these and more locations with one click. Take a look here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu.html

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

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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