On Tuesday (6/28) Northern CA surf was chest to head high with a few bigger sets. South facing breaks were chest to head high on the sets and rarely 1 ft more. Central California was chest high with bigger ones on the rare set. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were chest to head high on the biggest sets. The LA area southward into Orange County was head high with sets 2-3 ft overhead at the best south swell breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were head high to 2 ft overhead at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to maybe chest high and fading. The East Shore was waist high.
Swell #4S finally started hitting California decently late Monday and was still solid on Tuesday if you were at the right place, with the usual Southern CA south swell spots taking top honors. Swell #4S was on it's last legs in Hawaii with nothing exceptional to report. The models hint at a weak storm southeast of New Zealand for Friday (7/1) with another in the Southeast Pacific Sunday and Monday (7/3), but these are both to be small systems. Nothing of any real size expected from these systems so we hope you're making the most of Swell #4S while you can. 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 (6/28) things were very weak, with the jet almost completely undefined (winds less than 60 kts) over the entire North Pacific. The first signs of a trough were showing over the Kuril Islands (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the jet is to become a little more energetic with the Kuril trough developing 100 kt winds blowing under it. Some suggestion of a surface low developing. The trough is to lift northeast and expected to be approaching the dateline by Friday (7/1).
At the surface today solid high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered off California and northeast of Hawaii and ridging slightly into Washington. This ridge was starting to generate a pressure gradient along the North California coast with 25 kt winds developing over a small area there. A weak 1008 mb low was in the northern Gulf of Alaska but had no swell generation capacity. Of most interest was a 988 mb low starting to develop off the southern Kuril Islands, but no swell producing fetch was indicated there either. A pretty mild pattern (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the high is to hold it's position and continue ridging into Washington with just a bit more force, tightening the California pressure gradient some. The Kuril low is to track northeast with pressure dropping to 980 mbs by Wednesday (6/29), but only limited 25 kts fetch wrapping into it's south quadrant aimed at Hawaii with no real swell production capacity expected. In general a quiet pattern to persist.
More model data here
California Offshore Forecast
Tuesday mornings local charts (6/28) indicate solid high pressure at 1030 mbs locked down 1200 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino CA. This is to remain the dominant weather feature for the coming 7 days. On Tuesday a weak gradient was starting to develop off Cape Mendocino as the high started ridging east into Washington. By Wednesday (7/29) the gradient is to be come better defined with 25-30 kt north winds developing off the Cape with windswell generation potential on the upswing, but not overly so as the fetch area is to remain small. This same scenario is to hold through Friday (7/1) with the fetch growing slightly from day to day but not exceeding moderate coverage. On Saturday (7/2) the fetch is to max at 30 kts, but then the core of it is to start creeping south as the axis of the high offshore drifts south as weak low pressure builds in the Gulf of Alaska. By Monday (7/4) the fetch is to be off Pt Conception, well south of North and Central CA and shutting down windswell production capacity for Ca's northern regions.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Tuesday (6/28) the jetstream charts indicated the large and strong ridge that was pushing into Antarctica from the southern branch of the jet was finally dissipating, but a new ridge in the northern branch was developing and nearly reaching Antarctic Ice near 130W. Either way it was eliminating any chance for storm development in the eastern side of the South Pacific. A very small trough was still trying to get a foothold southeast of New Zealand, but winds were generally light (120 kts or less) (animation here). Over the next 72 hours that trough is to persist, but not get any stronger or better defined and showing signs of shutting down late in the window. The ridge is to persist strong in the east. No real signs of support for storm development suggested.
At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs remained in control of the Southeast Pacific ridging strongly into the Amundsen Sea. Low pressure at 956 mbs was southeast of New Zealand nestled in the trough there, but no high pressure was close enough to induce gradient winds and swell producing fetch. Instead a laconic 25 kt fetch was observed. High pressure was isolated to the Australia continent (animation here). Over the next 72 hours two gales are forecast tracking under New Zealand towards the open waters of the South Pacific, but not much expected from either of them. The models do suggest the second is to briefly achieve winds of 45 kts late Thursday (6/30) producing 18 hours of 30 ft seas aimed well to the northeast near 45S 175W, perhaps good enough for some decent swell for Hawaii but likely only inconsistent background swell for best south swell spots in California, and that assumes the gale forms at all. Nothing else of interest on the charts.
More model data here
This system was interesting, though not as strong as originally hoped for. The short story is that everyone from Hawaii eastward to California down to Central America is to get some decent swell from this system. The broadest fetch was aimed best at California and targets to the south. But the most intense fetch covering a much smaller area was aimed more to the north right at Hawaii with lesser sideband energy backing it up. It was about normal distance from both the Islands (4329-4692 nmiles) and California too (5243-5621 nmiles). Good swell generation potential for all locations from Hawaii, Tahiti into California and Central America is expected.
South California: Energy starting to fade out into Wednesday (6/29) with period turning to a pure 14 secs. Swell Direction: 192-200 degrees
North California: Energy fading out late Wednesday (6/29) as period turns to pure 14 secs. Swell Direction: 190-198 degrees
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Tuesdays upper level models (6/28) indicated that beyond 72 hours the trough that was approaching the dateline is to fade and ride over a ridge north of Hawaii. A new trough is to develop in the Gulf of Alaska with 120 kt winds blowing into it from the dateline ridge with the core of the jet pushing inland over Oregon by Tuesday (7/5). There some suggestion that a surface low could develop in the Gulf thanks to the jet, but it's to be weak with only 15-20 kts fetch forecast over open waters of the Central Gulf aimed at California.
At the surface high pressure is to continue off California producing the standard summertime Cape Mendocino gradient north winds but the core is to shift south as the axis of the ridge pushes south, moving off Pt Conception by Monday (7/4). Another low is to push off Japan on Sunday (7/3) but is to fade as soon as it gets out over water. Otherwise nothing of interest forecast.
Tuesdays upper level models (6/28) indicated that beyond 72 hours the weak trough that was off New Zealand is to shift south and be basically over the Ross Ice Shelf with minimal exposure over the open waters of the deep South Pacific. In general a zonal flow is projected with both branches of the jet tracking flat west to east. The one exception is a trough suggested in the far Eastern Pacific off Chile on Monday (7/4) is to develop with 160 kt winds running up it's west side. Reasonable potential for storm development here on the eastern edge of the California swell window.
At the surface a new low is forecast to develop in a trough over the Ross Ice Shelf with fetch pushing over exposed waters of the deep South Pacific. 30-32 ft seas suggested Sunday and Monday (7/3-4) aimed mostly at Chile but providing some background swell potential for California, again assuming this system forms at all. The pattern remains generally unfavorable though.
Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Update
On Friday (6/24) the Southern Oscillation Index dipped into the negative range at -12, the first time in 9 days. Since then readings of -14 to -24 have been reported daily. Trades which were a bit stronger than normal have slackened to the normal range if not dead calm in the far Western Pacific. This pattern, if it persists, is indicative of a mildly active phase of the MJO (a precursor to El Nino). Will monitor.
Details to follow...
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
A failure in the NWS Central Computing System has rendered some web and ftp sites inoperable. As of 9 AM Eastern Daylight, June 28th 2005, the system is expected to be restored by the morning of June 29th.
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