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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: June 4, 2006 12:27 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 = 3.0 - California & 2.0 - 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 6/5 thru Sun 6/11
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   

Swell #2S Continues
South Pacific Sleeps

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (6/4) Northern CA surf was chest to nearly head high, clear and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were doing the same at chest to near head high. Central California surf was waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with up to chest high sets at the best spots. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest high with sets to near head high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high with chest high sets at the top spots. The East Shore was flat.

Swell #2S is hitting California, but not with the size hoped for. Instead it's running about 25-30% smaller than anticipated, a bit of a disappointment. Regardless, it isn't over with surf expected to continue till mid-week. And another smaller pulse is behind it for next weekend. Hawaii was still seeing some fun sized surf form a different source that originated under New Zealand, but that is rapidly fading. A small backup pulse is scheduled mid-week with another slightly better one targeted for the early weekend. Longterm things are not so rosy, with no solid swell producers on the charts. The focus appears to be shifting from the Southeast Pacific towards the southwest, but the models have been teasing us with that prospect for weeks now, and it never fully materializes, so confidence is low at this time. Make the most of what you have! 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 (6/4) indicated a weak zonal flow centered on 40N pushing west to east with no support for surface level gale development. One suspect pocket of energy is forecast over the dateline pushing to north of Hawaii Thursday (6/8) fading Friday with winds 140-150 kts, but no real associated trough suggested. Detailed monitoring for the North Pacific is now on an exception basis through the summer.

At the surface on Sunday (6/4) a weak pressure pattern remained in control of the North Pacific with no noteworthy high or low pressure cells present to generate swell producing fetch. Over the next 72 hours weak low pressure is to start developing well north of Hawaii pushing towards the Gulf of Alaska with west winds over a tiny area forecast to 30 kts. At the same time a small area of high pressure to be building off the US West coast starting to increase the strength of north winds along the coast of California. No swell generation potential suggested.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (6/4) a weak pressure regime was in control with high pressure at 1018 mbs lingering well off the coast driving a faint pressure gradient centered off Pt Conception with 20-25 kt north winds there and lesser winds north of there. The gradient to start lifting slowly north and building in coverage through Thursday as high pressure gets a better hold on the Northeast Pacific, if only for a day or two. A broad fetch of 25-30 kts north winds to be in control then sweeping directly down the North and Central coasts, then pulling away from most coastal locations south of Pt Reyes by Friday (6/9) through still over outer waters while a new high pressure system start building north of Hawaii, setting up more north winds for Sunday (6/11)..

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

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Sunday (6/4) a split jetstream flow remained in-place over the South Pacific with most energy contained in the northern branch. The southern stream continued flowing basically zonal (flat west to east) centered just along the boundary between the Ross Ice Shelf and clear ice-free waters to the north (60S). No troughs or pockets or energy were present to support surface level gale development. Over the next 72 hours a solid upper level high pressure system is to build over the Central Pacific pushing east and driving the jet to the south over Antarctic ice and pretty much eliminating any chance for storm development in that region. A bit of a trough is forecast under New Zealand Tues/Wed (6/7) with 120 kts winds flowing through it, providing some hope there. This trough to persist into next weekend, with more 130 kt energy forecast pushing into it then, possibly providing some fuel for surface level development, but not likely.

At the surface on Sunday AM (6/4) high pressure at 1026 mbs was building over the Central Pacific riding south and starting to choke off the Aleutian Storm Corridor there. No other swell producing fetch was evidenced. Over the next 72 hours this high pressure center to drift east and grow in intensity, eliminating any chance for gale development there. A little hole under New Zealand to provide an area a little more favorable to gale development with a series of short lived 35-40 kt fetch areas developing there, but not lasting long. Maybe some background energy for Hawaii to result, but that's it.

 

Nothing else of interest forecast.

 

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

Southeast Pacific - Storm #2S
On Wednesday AM (5/24) a low started developing due south of Tahiti (east of the Hawaiian swell window) with pressure 964 mbs and winds confirmed at 50 kts over a small area at 60S 150W aimed 25 degrees east of the 194 degree path into California. By evening pressure was down to 954 mbs with a moderate fetch of 50-55 kt southwest winds confirmed centered at 55S 135W aimed just 20 degrees east of the 186 degree path to California. Not too bad. Seas were building fast at 32 ft centered at 61S 145W. The Jason-1 satellite made passes around the periphery of the fetch late evening, but not directly through it. Those readings supported the numbers coming from the wave model though. On Thursday AM the storm fetch was lifting northeast with pressure 964 mbs and 720 nmiles of 50 kt winds centered at 48S 123W aimed 20 degrees east of the 182-185 degree paths to California. This was decent, though not exceptional. Seas were modeled at 40 ft over a tiny area at 58S 132W. By nightfall the low continued lifting rapidly northeast with south winds barely 50 kt over a tiny area at 48S 114W though mostly 40-45 kts outside the NCal swell window with a little energy still aimed at SCal up the 178 degree paths. 35 ft seas modeled aimed towards CA on the very eastern edge of the swell window at 52S 123W, gone by Friday AM.

Another pulse of energy developed right behind the main storm through the day Friday (5/26) tracking fast to the east and generating 24 hours of 32-35 ft seas at 60S 132W-118W. This has generated a secondary pulse of swell energy expected to follow right behind the main swell, though smaller and hardly distinguishable from the main pulse, just prolonging it's life.

On Sunday (5/28) yet another small 968 mb low developed under the trough established in the upper atmosphere in the Southeast Pacific. Winds were in the 40-45 kt range through the day pushing northeast and fading below 35 kts Monday (5/29) but aimed more to the north on the eastern edge of the California swell window. Seas modeled to 30 ft at 53S 132W Sunday evening moving to 48S 127W Monday AM, then faltering. Another third small pulse of southern hemi utility swell expected for California and points south of there a week out.

A small significant class swell has been generated and is pushing north and east towards California, Central America and northern South America. This was a rather short lived system with only 36-48 hours of effective fetch, but that fetch was traveling well to the northeast building momentum towards the aforementioned targets with a little virtual fetch in play, perhaps helping to add a bit higher number of waves per set in the 17-20 sec band of this swell. Still nothing exceptional, just solid fun.

South California: A secondary pulse to arrive early Monday (6/5) with swell building to 4 ft @ 15 secs (5.5-6.0 ft faces) holding at 4 ft @ 15-16 secs Tuesday (5.5-6.0 ft faces) as the third pulse arrives. This pulse to have a little more westerly direction on it (10 degs) more than what is indicated for the main pulse. Swell fading from 3.6 ft @ 14-15 secs Wednesday (4.5-5.0 ft faces). Swell Direction: 183-188 degrees

North California: A secondary pulse to arrive Monday (6/5) with swell building to 3.0-3.3 ft @ 16 secs (5.0-5.5 ft faces) rebuilding to 3.6 ft @ 15-16 secs Tuesday (5.0-5.5 ft faces) as the third pulse arrives. This pulse to have a little more westerly direction on it (10 degs) more than what is indicated for the main pulse. Swell fading from 3.3 ft @ 14-15 secs Wednesday (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 182-187 degrees

 

Another Pulse
On Wednesday (5/31) a low developed south of New Zealand with pressure 960 mbs and winds 45 kts, up to 55-60 kts that evening. Seas built to 30 ft at 62S 180W. On Thursday AM pressure was 948 mbs with winds continuing in the 50-55 kt range aimed mostly due east, almost perpendicular to any great circle route to Hawaii and only marginally better for California. But seas built to 38 ft ft over a tiny area at 63S 165W. A rapid decay set in through the day Thursday with no swell producing fetch left by evening and seas fading from 32 ft at 60S 160W. There were hints of residual 30 ft seas into Friday at 58S 158W, but with winds only 35 kts in the area, most of that was just decaying energy from previous days fetch rather than freshly generated seas.

Moderate utility class sideband energy is tracking north expected to reach Hawaii late Thursday (6/8) with swell 1 ft @ 18 secs building to 2.3 ft @ 17 secs Friday AM (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Swell to hold into Saturday (6/10) with swell 2.3 ft @ 15 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces), then start heading down. Swell Direction: 190 degrees.

Swell to push into South CA starting Saturday (6/10) reaching 2 ft @ 18 secs late (3.0-3.5 ft faces) maxing Sunday with swell 3 ft @ 17 secs (4.5-5.0 ft faces) (but likely something less), then heading down from there. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees

Swell to push into North CA starting Saturday (6/10) reaching 1.6 ft @ 18 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft faces) maxing Sunday with swell 2.6 ft @ 17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) but likely something less, then heading down from there. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours low pressure is to continue in the Gulf of Alaska through the weekend (6/11) but no real fetch of interest suggested. High pressure to build to 1024 mbs off California invigorating the Cape Mendocino gradient and generating 25-30 kt north winds there Thursday (6/8) then fading. Windswell production for North/Central CA to come up some then. But low pressure in the Gulf to take it's toll directly thereafter returning the Northeast Pacific to a near calm state. New high pressure to be building in by Sunday (6/11) possibly setting up a repeat of this cycle for early next week, but it's all inconsequential.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest the trough in the upper atmosphere under New Zealand to try and fuel some surface level development, though the models have been highly erratic and nothing is certain. Still, some form of broad low pressure is suggested next weekend in the area, with potential for swell increasing. But this has been modeled for weeks and it never materializes, so confidence is low.

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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