New Swell Classification Guidelines (Winter)
Significant: Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead)
Advanced: Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Intermediate: Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft)
Impulse/Windswell: Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
On Saturday (6/28) Northern CA surf was chest to shoulder high and jumbled with fog, gray skies and onshore wind. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high and socked in. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was maybe thigh high with luck and clean. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was 1 ft and textured. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with a few rare chest high sets and textured with southwest wind. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high with standouts to near head high and lightly textured. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist to chest high and inconsistent but clean. The East Shore was near flat.
North/Central California was getting some minimal northwest windswell that was fading with only a faint hint of southern hemi swell lurking underneath. Southern California was getting a taste of a new southern hemi swell, but it really wasn't here yet. Hawaii's North Shore was flat for the summer. The South Shore continued receiving more small background south hemi background swell. The East Shore was flat.
For Central California, northwest windswell to be gone by Sunday while a decent pulse of southern hemi swell should be showing providing rideable surf and even a little more on occasion, but nothing more. That swell to peak later in the afternoon then trail off slowly Monday and Tuesday. Southern CA to see the exact same pattern only with the southern hemi swell peaking first light Sunday. In the Islands small background southern hemi swell to to continue for the next week in the waist to chest high range but swinging more from the southwest early next week and coming from the Tasman Sea. Tradewind generated east windswell to pulse a little on Tuesday (7/1) then build a little more Thursday (7/3) and beyond. But no swell producing storms are forecast for the exposed South Pacific for the next week. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
The North Pacific jetstream is in hibernation for the summer. No features of interest are indicated.
At the surface today weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was centered 600 nmiles north of Hawaii extending from roughly the dateline. north of the Islands then up into British Columbia. But it was so weak it was having no real effect anywhere in terms of wind production.Over the next 72 hours the high is to weaken yet more and a low pressure system is to form in the southern Gulf of Alaska Mon/Tues (7/1) maybe pushing some 30-35 kt winds towards Hawaii on Monday but from a long ways away offering the faint hopes for windswell. Otherwise nothing is forecast.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (6/28) high pressure had retreated and a weak low pressure system at 1014 mbs was sitting off Central CA driving a weak southwesterly wind flow along the coast. This to continue into Sunday fading Monday then a new high pressure system is to set up off Southern CA Tuesday (7/1) driving 15 kt northwest winds centered over Pt Conception and the Channel Islands pushing 25 kts Wed and Thurs. These winds may have some impact for Southern CA at that time, but current data suggests nothing too bad. This fetch to reach a little north to the Pt Arena area by Thursday and hold junking thing up over all of Central CA on into next weekend but not offering enough fetch depth to produce much in the line of windswell, just chop.
Tropical Storm Boris had sustained winds at 45 kts and was positioned about 450 nmiles south-southwest if Cabo San Lucas heading due west. Winds were too weak and the heading to westerly to have any impact on California. Boris was maxed out and expected to slowly fade over then next 4 days and dissipate.
Another Tropical Depression (3E) was west of Boris on an westerly track with winds 30 kts, expected to build to 35 kt late Saturday and hold at that strength, then fade out over the next 4 days. No swell generation potential.
On Saturday (6/28) a split jetstream pattern was in control of the entire South Pacific with a ridge pushing the southern branch over the 70S latitude and over the Ross Ice Shelf. There was no support for surface level storm development. Over the next 72 hours the sam basic pattern is to hold, with only a slight relaxation of the southward trend off southern Chile. Beyond 72 hrs another reinforcing ridge is to build in the same area under New Zealand holding the flow to the 70S latitude. But, just maybe, a trough is to start building under New Zealand Saturday (7/5) offering some fuel for the development of surface level low pressure development. It's way to early to know for sure, but there finally some hope on the charts.
At the oceans surface high pressure at 1016 mbs was in control over the Eastern South Pacific with a second more dominant high building under New Zealand forcing the storm track over the Ross Ice Shelf. Virtually no swell producing fetch of interest was present in the South Pacific. Over the next 72 hours the New Zealand high is to drift east continuing the lockdown in the west and the high in the east is to drift almost out of the picture. The net result is a reinforcement of the pre-existing pattern driving everything on a southward tact towards Antarctica and offering no support for swell development. No seas of interest are forecast in the greater South Pacific Basin.
A broad and fairly vigorous gale pushed east of Tasmania Sunday/Monday (6/23) directing 45 kt winds and 32 ft seas (47S 152E Sun PM) and 35 ft seas (45S 158E Mon AM) north into the Tasman Sea aimed at Fiji, then dissipated after impacting New Zealand.
A second smaller but stronger fetch of 55-60 kts winds pushed under Tasmania Tuesday (6/24) sending 37 ft seas (48N 150E Tues PM) and 35 ft seas (45S 160E Wed AM) more towards New Zealand though some energy will undoubtedly push north towards Fiji. But it too faded before reaching the South Pacific offering no potential to our forecast area. In all, Hawaii might see some limited background energy from the Tasman Sea after is gets filtered by the reefs off Fiji.
On Thursday (6/26) one more strong system was pushing under Tasmania with 42 ft seas at 50S 142E but fading. 36 ft seas were modeled in the evening at 46S 152E then pushing up into the Tasman Sea on Friday AM (6/27) with residual 35-40 kts winds aimed directly at Fiji producing 30 ft seas fading while pushing to just west of Northwestern New Zealand Saturday AM (26 ft at 35S 165E). Looks like good swell for Fiji by Monday (6/30) Pacific Time (Tues Fiji time).
South Pacific Storm
On Wednesday PM (6/18) a small 956 storm developed just north of the Ross Ice Shelf on the dateline tracking due east with winds confirmed at 50-55 kts aimed east about 30 degrees east of any route to California and 80 degrees east of any route to Hawaii. Seas were on the increase. By Thursday AM (6/19) winds were confirmed at 45-50 kts aimed a bit north of due east or 30 degrees off the 196 degree path to California and unobstructed from Tahiti. Seas were modeled at 32 ft at 60S 170W but the Jason-1 satellite made a pass over the southern quadrant of this system at 15Z and reported seas at 37.1 ft with a peak reading to 40.7 ft at 60.6S 164W actually doing better than what the models suggested. The fetch tracked east through the day and held if not built slightly by evening with winds at 50 kts at 56S 145W aimed well up the 192 degree path to California (outside the HI swell window). Seas were modeled at 35 ft at 60S 152W. By Friday AM (6/20) the fetch was fading fast from 35-40 kts but seas from the evenings winds were modeled at 36 ft 55S 140W. Seas faded out quickly after that.
Limited background sideband swell is likely pushing north towards Hawaii from early in this storms life. Fetch and seas from Thursday into Friday AM (6/20) were pushing well up the great circle paths to California likely having a more direct impact here. Solid utility class swell expected.
Background sideband swell to reach Hawaii on Thursday (6/27) with swell to 1.6 ft @ 16-17 secs (2.5 ft faces). Swell pushing 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces - 4 ft sets) on Friday fading to 1.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.5 ft faces) Saturday (6/29). Swell Direction: 185 degrees
Swell to push into California starting Friday (6/27) at 2 PM with period 20 secs but size tiny though slowly building. Decent sized energy to start hitting late Saturday (6/28) afternoon with pure swell 2.3 ft @ 18 secs late (4 ft faces). Swell to peak at 2.3-2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.0-4.8 ft faces with top spots to 6 ft) first light Sunday in SCal and later in the morning in NCal. Swell Direction 192-195 degrees
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours weak high pressure is to try and make a reappearance north of Hawaii and into Southern California by Thursday (7/3) but offering only local winds off Pt Conception and the Islands with no fetch depth behind it and no real windswell generation potential. Very short period if anything actually does develop.
MJO/ENSO Update: As of Thursday (6/26) the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) remain barely in the active phase. A small area of anomalous west 850 mb winds were straddling the dateline and pushing east, pretty weakly. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) started hovering in the slightly negative range (-2 to -8 ) on 6/11 then backed off a little holding near 0 through 6/20, then dropped to the -24 to -27 range on 6/21 and has been at -17 and -19 and now to -9 today. The 30 and 90 day averages sit right on 0, meaning a long term neutral trend. This current active phase of the MJO has peaked and is fading, expected to be gone by 7/5. This should serve to help wipe out the remnants of La Nina, though slower to change water temperature anomalies still persist.
Beyond 72 hrs no change is forecast with all fetch reaching the South Pacific taking the southward dive and producing no fetch aimed northeast towards Hawaii or the US mainland. No seas of interest are forecast.
Details to follow...
External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave
Add a STORMSURF Buoy Forecast to your Google Homepage. Click Here:
Then open your Google homepage, hit 'edit' button (top right near graph), and select your location
STORMSURF Local Wave Models Upgraded - We significantly upgraded the local waves models on Sunday (6/8). All now utilize our newly developed high-resolution 3D shaded relief topography for mapping landmasses. Coastlines are now accurate down to the individual pixel providing near photographic realism. Mountains and hills are all shaded and accurate to within the same single pixel specification. Cities are overlaid as before, but now we've added major highways and rivers too (for many locations). Some good examples of this new technology can be viewed here:
- View the reefs north of Tahiti and notice their contribution to the 'Swell Shadow' relative to California - Tahiti
- Notice the detail of the coast in and around Vancouver Islands and Washington State - Pacific Northwest
- See the details of inland waterways of the US Northeast Coast - Virginia
- Details of the Mentawai Island and Nias
And all the local models can be found either on our homepage or from the wavemodel page (bottom half of the page).
Surfrider's General Meeting: The San Mateo County Chapter is holding a General Public Meeting on June 12th at the Montara Lighthouse. Meet the SMC Chapter leaders and other like-minded activists, and learn more about how you can get involved in our current activities and campaigns. Then listen to an interesting talk by Mark Hylkema, a State archaeologist with 28 years' experience in California archeology and Native American culture. Mark has interacted with many different tribal communities, particularly in central and northern California. In 1994, he discovered a crescent of stone during an excavation in a cypress forest at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The 5700-year-old rock is believed to have been used by early Native Americans and is the oldest artifact discovered in San Mateo County.
Doors open at 7, meeting begins at 7:30. The Lighthouse is at 16th Street and Highway 1 in Montara. Parking is limited, so please carpool if possible and park in the upper lot (nearest to Hwy 1). For more information, visit surfridersmc.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Time Zone Converter - Finally! By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.
Mavericks Contest 2008: View all the action from the 2008 Maverick Surf Contest from Powelines Productions here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9o5lj9CUpCc
Half Moon Bay Surfers - Attention: There¹s a movement afoot to dredge sand out of the Pillar Point (i.e. Half Moon Bay) Harbor and dump it just south of the jetty, so it will replenish all sand that¹s disappeared between the harbor and HMB. The guy who¹s spearheading the project, Brian Overfelt, has already received a positive preliminary reading from the local harbor commissioners. He¹s making a formal presentation to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary¹s advisory council this coming Friday (2/15) at Our Lady of Pillar church in Half Moon Bay. (It's on Kelly Ave, just east of the Coast Highway, across the street from Cunha Intermediate School.) starting at 9 AM. More details here: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/forecast/forecast/hmb_dredge.html
Need Chiropractic Help? Visit our friends at Darrow Chiropractic. Not only will Dr. Darrow fix you up, he might give you some big wave surfing tips too! See more here: http://www.darrowchiropractic.com/
Grib File Switchover: The old grib1 format wave model datafiles that have been the mainstay of the National Weather service for years now are scheduled to be retired on 1/26. We switched over to the new grib2 files starting with the 00z run of Thurs 1/17. All appears to be running fine. There is no functional change to the content of the models, just that files we receive are now smaller due to improved compression of grib2. But this sets us up to start processing new higher resolution files and building new products in the months ahead. So in all it's a good maintenance level change.
Sharkwater: There's a new feature film called Sharkwater that is hitting theaters November 2nd. Sharkwater is an award winning documentary (22 international film awards including the UN and Cannes) that broke box office records in Canada, opening to bigger numbers than any documentary in history save Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me. It is a conservation film that demonstrates that the biggest influence on the air we breathe, and global warming is life in the oceans – except life in the oceans is being wiped out. Shark populations have dropped 90% in the last 30 years alone, and the oceans continue to be destroyed because nobody knows that it's happening Learn more here: http://www.sharkwater.com
Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com
Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit www.thesurfbook.com. Submit online at www.casagrandepress.com
Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists. http://www.waveridersgallery.net/
Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table