On Tuesday (6/14) Northern CA surf was head high with fair conditions. South facing breaks were waist to chest high. Central California was waist high to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were about waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was mostly waist high with best breaks up to chest high. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high with chest high sets at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was waist high.
Small surf prevails today with nowhere particularly great. But never fears because our fortunes are to change for the better. New southern hemi swell from under Tahiti to hit HAwaii on Thursday (6/16) and building. Solid size to continue well past the weekend. This same energy to be pushing into California too late Saturday (6/18) continuing into mid-next week. And as if that wasn't enough, the models suggest a strong very late season gale developing just off Oregon later this week with good swell generation potential for North and Central CA for the early weekend. More southern hemi energy on the charts too. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
At the jetstream level on Tuesday (6/14) an unusually strong pocket of energy was ridging over the dateline at 170 kts while weak trough was just off Oregon (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a high amplitude pattern is to develop with the dateline energy pushing east forming a big ridge pushing into the Aleutians north of Hawaii then diving south into a deep trough off Oregon. The jet itself is to be pushing inland over North California. This looks most impressive given the time of year and is capable of supporting some sort of cyclonic circulation at the oceans surface in the pit of the trough.
At the surface today high pressure reigned supreme centered 1200 nmiles west of San Francisco at 1024 mbs and ridging up to the California coast, south to Hawaii and west to nearly Japan. Weak low pressure was off Kamchatka and was of no consequence. Of most interest wa a tiny little low just starting to close off at 1012 mbs north of hawaii and due west of Oregon tracking east and cutting well into the dominant high off California. This is to become a major weather feature in the coming days (see below). (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to retreat in the East Pacific as low pressure supported by a good upper level flow starts to develop off Oregon. No other weather features of interest expected.
More model data here
Oregon Gale (North CA)
On Wednesday AM (6/15) low pressure at 996 mbs is to be positioned 900 nmiles west of southern Oregon with 30-35 kts west winds developing in it south and southeast quadrants centered near 40N 140W aimed at North and central CA down the 285 degree great circle path and points northward into Oregon. Seas building. In the evening pressure to drop to 992 mbs as a nice gradient develops between the low and high pressure to it's south and west. Winds forecast up to 35-40 kts in it's southwest sector centered at 43N 137W aimed right down the 299 degree path to North CA (307 Scal). Seas 18 ft and building.
On Thursday AM (6/16) additional strengthening expected as upper level support builds. Pressure down to 988 mbs with 40-45 kts northwest winds building at 44N 135W aimed right down the 308 degree path to North CA (312 SCal). Seas 21 ft centered at 41N 133W. In the evening pressure dropping to 988 mbs with winds down just a little to 35-40 kts centered at 43N 135W aimed about like before. Seas building to 25 ft centered at 42N 133W, just west of buoy 46002.
On Friday Am (6/17) the core of the low is to nuzzle right up to the Oregon coast with pressure holding and winds dropping to 30-35 kts centered and aimed just like before. Seas forecast at 21 ft centered at 40N 130W, midway between buoys 46002 and where 46059 should be. In the evening this system is to fade out with winds dropping to 25 kts and swell generation potential fading. Seas 18 ft and dying fast.
This system to be gone by Saturday AM (6/18).
All this is pure forecast data and nothing of any real interest has developed yet so a high degree of uncertainty exists regarding the outcome of this scenario. Assuming the models are right, a large wintertime utility class swell with period in the 13-14 secs range is expected to reach the North California coast late Friday into Saturday (6/18) with lesser size filtering into Central CA and exposed breaks in Southern CA during the day Saturday. This swell is to be raw, being only 374-523 nmiles away from NCal at it's peak, leaving no room for the raw chop in the fetch area to decay off. Still size for the time of year could be most interesting. Monitor this system closely.
California Offshore Forecast
Tuesday mornings local charts (6/14) depicted solid high pressure at 1024 mbs centered 900 nmiles northeast of Hawaii and 1200 nmiles west of San Francisco CA ridging into the Northern CA coast. Low pressure was inland over central Nevada fueling the normal pressure gradient between the two opposing systems, generating brisk north winds at their junction from Cape Mendocino southward to Pt Arena and out to sea off Monterey. Winds were imaged at 30-35 kts with a few barbs to near 40 kts. This scenario continued generating solid northwest windswell along the coast with seas ranging from 10-15 ft @ 9 secs.
But with the quickly approaching low pressure system from the west, the high is to retreat south and west and the gradient is to fade with it. Local winds to back off and that is just as well, because a bit longer period and larger swell should result from the gale low forecast off the coast (see Oregon Low above). If anything the issue will become southerly winds. A weak front is forecast to pass over the Bay Area Thursday night (6/16) but currently the models suggest the dividing line between south wind and just calm wind is to be Pt Reyes. It's really too early to tell. But the models do indicate that no form of even moderate much less strong winds (any direction) expected through early next week.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Tuesday (6/14) the jetstream remained is a fully split pattern with the north and southern branches running flat parallel to one another over the width of the South Pacific. A bit of northward push was evidenced in the southern branch on the northern edge of the Ross ice Shelf, possibly the sign of better things to come (animation here). Over the next 72 hours that small pocket of energy pushing north (a trough) is to building with energy from the southern branch crashing into the northern branch late Wednesday (6/15) and a bit of energy is to result where the two branches meet with winds averaging in the 150 kt range.
At the surface today high pressure continued around the periphery of the South Pacific with one system at 1028 mbs just off Southern Chile and the other just southeast of New Zealand at 1032 mbs. Both these systems were smaller that in previous days and weeks with a broad swath of the Central South Pacific more exposed to generic low pressure. Persistent remnants of a cut off low that was south of Tahiti (see Storm #3S below) were still circulating in the mid South PAcific at 984 mbs and a new low also at 984 mbs was trying to wind up to it's southeast with winds forecast building to 35-40 kts briefly Tuesday PM into Wednesday AM (6/15) but not getting much of a foothold on the oceans surface. Still, they are to agitate things just enough so the next system in line could be more productive. (animation here).
Over the next 72 hours a new low is to develop in the deep central South Pacific off the eastern Ross Ice Shelf. On Thursday PM (6/16) pressure is to drop to 968 mbs with winds 40-45 kts over a moderate area imbedded in a much larger area of 35-40 kts winds all aimed over a broad arc aimed from Hawaii (178 degrees) to California (196 degrees). 30 ft seas developing. This low is to persist through Saturday (6/18) with seas forecast in the 30-32 ft range over a broad area with imbedded seas to near 38 ft while the whole fetch drifts east and takes better aim at California and targets to the south while fading from Hawaii's swell window. Good swell generation potential for all locations from Hawaii to Tahiti into California and Central America if this system comes to pass.
More model data here
Small Tahiti Storm #3S
On Saturday PM (6/11) a new low was organizing south of Tahiti with pressure 972 mbs, starting to tap strong upper winds just north of it. Winds were building, confirmed at to 45-50 kts over a moderate 600 nmiles long area centered at 44S 153W aimed due north or about 20 degrees east of the 175 degree track to Hawaii and right up the 202 degree track to California. Seas were building.
By Sunday (6/12) pressure was up to 974 mbs with a long but thin 40-50 kt fetch covering an arc centered at 45S 153W in the storms west quadrant aimed due north. These winds were aimed right up the 175 degree track to Hawaii and also at California up the 201 degree path in the northern part of the arc. These winds were well to the north of normal and in close proximity to Tahiti and relatively close to Hawaii and the US west coast. Seas were modeled up to 30 ft centered at 40S 152W. By Sunday PM pressure was up to 978 mbs but winds continued at 40-50 kts centered at 45S 150W but over a smaller area aimed like before, right at Hawaii and 20 degrees of the path to California. Seas were modeled at 29 ft centered at 35S 147W.
By Monday AM (6/13) this system was fading fast with no swell producing fetch left. Residual seas of 29 ft were modeled at 43S 150W. This system was dead.
In all this system was generally uninspiring due to it's short life and limited fetch area. The big thing in it's favor though was it's rather northern position putting it in very close proximity to Tahiti and relatively close proximity to Hawaii (3447-3895 nmiles) and California (4423-4916 nmiles), Almost 2000 nmiles closer than it it was under New Zealand. This should significantly reduce the resulting swells travel distance and thereby reduce swell decay as it tracks north. On the other end of the spectrum, Tahiti was close to the core of the fetch (1600 nmiles) but not too close, allowing the swell to unwrap just enough to be decent with little decay. And local winds are to be favorable when the swell hits so maximum size potential can be realized. Perhaps a bit of warble, but not too bad. Hawaii will be next up with the fetch pushing right towards the Islands. Significant class potential is expected with most energy in the 14-15 sec range. Finally California to receive some fun sized surf, just under the significant class range, but well rideable just the same. Most energy is to be passing a bit west of California, but that should not be too bad.
Hawaii: Expect the first pulse of this swell to arrive Thursday morning (6/16) building through the day reaching 3 ft @ 16 secs by sunset (4.5-5.0 ft faces). Swell continuing solid on Friday (6/17) at 3.6 ft @ 14-15 secs all day (5.0-5.5 ft faces).First pulse fading on Saturday (6/18) while a new pulse hits near 1 AM with period at 17 secs and size small but building fast. Swell to be solid by sunset back up to 3 ft @ 15 secs (4-5 ft faces) and still climbing up. Swell to peak in the early morning hours of Sunday (6/19) and still solid at sunrise with swell 3.6 ft @ 14 secs (5 ft faces with best breaks to 6 ft) and holding through the early afternoon then drifting down. Decent energy to continue into Monday (6/20) with swell 3.3 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) and holding. On Tuesday (6/21) swell starting to fade at 3 ft @ 13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces), heading down later in the day. Residuals continuing into Wednesday (6/22) with period at 12 secs and fading. Swell Direction: 167-175 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival starting late Saturday (6/18) with initial size pushing to 3 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Additional energy to be building in during the day Sunday (6/19) with underlying period to 17 secs by 6 PM and combined swell 3.3 ft @ 15 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell to continue unabated Monday (6/20) into Tuesday (6/21) at a 3.3 ft @ 14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces), then starting to fade late Tuesday. Continued declining size expected through early Thursday (6/23) as period drops slowly to 13 secs. Swell Direction: 201-206 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival starting late Saturday (6/18) with initial size pushing to 3 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces). Additional energy to be building in during the day Sunday (6/19) with underlying period to 17 secs by 6 PM and combined swell 3.3 ft @ 15 secs (4.5-5.0 ft). Swell to continue unabated Monday (6/20) into Tuesday (6/21) at a 3.3 ft @ 14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces), then starting to fade late Tuesday. Continued declining size expected through late Thursday (6/23) as period drops slowly to 13 secs. Swell Direction: 201-206 degrees
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Tuesdays models (6/14) indicated that beyond 72 hours in the upper levels the trough off Oregon is to hold if not become more exaggerated into early Sunday (6/19) while losing energy. By Monday (6/20) it's to wash out with no defined track left. At the surface on Sunday high pressure is to start regaining ground north of Hawaii at 1028 mbs but not ridging into California and instead being a force to produce easterly windswell for exposed Hawaiian shores. No other swell producing fetch forecast.
On Tuesday (6/14) beyond 72 hours out the jetstream models suggest that some form of trough is to persist in the mid-South Pacific for the foreseeable future with perhaps a larger trough developing under Australia pushing into the South Pacific well down the road. The upper level high pressure gridlock that has dominated the Summer 2005 season so far may be preparing to break down.
At the surface high pressure that is currently just east of new Zealand is to track east to the mid-South Pacific and weaken while new low pressure develops in the Tasman Sea on Monday (6/20). 45-50 kts winds are forecast over a 12 hours winds aimed well at Hawaii. Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.
Details to follow...
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