On Tuesday (7/3) Northern CA surf was waist to chest high, foggy and crumbly. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest high on the sets. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to near chest high and chopped by afternoon. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was maybe waist high with south exposed spots to head high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County was head high to 1 ft overhead at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was getting the second pulse of energy from the southern hemi pushing shoulder to head high a more on the biggest sets at the top breaks. The East Shore report was not available.
North/Central California was getting the first real signs of southern hemi swell originating from under New Zealand. Southern California was getting the leading edge of southern hemi swell from under New Zealand. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore but still in a groove with solid fun sized plus southern hemi swell still in the water and fading minimal windswell on the East Shore. The only game in town is from a storm that started under Tasmania almost 2 weeks ago and pushed over New Zealand, then regenerated and pushing just shy of Tahiti while fading. That swell has peaking in the Islands but is just starting to reach decent size on the mainland. Still lingering rideable waves to continue in Hawaii through the end of the workweek with things solid in California through Thursday. Get it now cause the models are far from interesting with nothing solid forecast for the next week, other than local windswell. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays jetstream charts (7/3) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest other than a thin weak trough snaking through the Gulf of Alaska with winds in the 110-120 kts range providing limited support for surface level low pressure development focused on the US West Coast. Over the next 72 hours that trough to push inland late Wednesday followed by a completely useless zonal (flat) flow pushing west to east over the 45N latitude. No support for low pressure development indicated. Beyond 72 hours no change is forecast with a weak flow pushing from North Japan flat into British Columbia providing no support for surface level low pressure development.
At the surface today weak low pressure was in the Gulf of Alaska but generating no wind of interest. Otherwise very mild high pressure held control of waters north of Hawaii into California in the 1020 mb range, providing only enough pressure to generate 15 kt north winds along the California coast and the same strength trades pushing into Hawaii's eastern shores. Over the next 72 hrs high pressure to get a bit better footing building to 1024 mbs and congealing 600 nmiles off Central CA. This to result in a building fetch of 25 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino by late Wednesday starting to generate somewhat more generous local windswell from Bodega Bay south into San Francisco on down into Pt Conception with minimal wrap around components pushing into exposed breaks in Southern CA. No real impact expected into the Hawaiian Islands though with just 15-20 kts trades continuing, maybe ramping up just slightly on Friday (7/6) with the commensurate minimal increase in short period windswell.
Also low pressure pushed through the Gulf of Alaska Sun/Mon (7/2) generating confirmed 35 kt northwest winds producing a short duration of 20 ft seas Monday AM at 42N 153W pushing up the 292 degree path to North California. This might result in a small pulse of 12-13 sec period energy pushing into North CA starting 70 hrs later, or Thursday sunrise, but likely buried in local windswell.
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked at this time.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (7/30) high pressure at 1022 mbs was hanging 600 nmiles off the coast of Pt Conception displaced a bit south by weak low pressure in the Gulf of Alaska. Northerly winds at 15 kts were in control of local waters, but not enough to generate any real windswell of interest. By Wednesday high pressure to be moving north and building, with the commensurate increase in northerly winds along the coast expected at 20-25 kts with a core to near 30 kts building over Cape Mendocino. The net result to be an increase in local windswell starting then and continuing unchanged into Monday of next week (7/9). Rather poor local conditions expected north of Pt Conception through that time period too. Weak eddy flow (southwest winds) to continue in Southern California through the period. The models suggest a decay of the pressure gradient and local north winds (and therefore decreasing windswell) after that.
Tuesdays jetstream charts (7/3) for the South Pacific indicated a faint weak trough in the southern branch of the jet trying to hold-on under New Zealand, but otherwise a large ridge was pushing south into Antarctica driving the storm track over Antarctic ice and land leaving no energy to produce swell generating winds at the oceans surface. Another trough was positioned due south of Chile, but well out of the US swell window. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (7/6) more of the same is forecast. A major ridge is to develop in the northern branch of the jet above New Zealand pushing hard south and is to dive south over the Central Pacific the whole way into Antarctica by Friday, sweeping any potential for gale development south with it. Not good. A weak trough to persist under Tasmania to New Zealand, but is to be ineffective. Beyond 72 hours and starting this weekend the southern branch of the jet under New Zealand is to get a little more active trying to push northward with limited 130 kt winds. It's suppose to even develop into a broad trough a week out, but that seems more a case of wishful thinking at this time. If it does odds increase for low pressure development at the oceans surface.
At the surface today there remains virtually no swell producing fetch evident in the Hawaii and US swell windows, though copious southwesterly winds at 40-45 kts were streaming into extreme Southern Chile, good news for Peru and Chile. Over the next 72 hours a nice small little gale is to develop north of New Zealand Wednesday (7/4) but is to instantly get pushed hard southeast on into Antarctica by the weekend by a new developing ridge in the upper atmosphere allowing virtually no fetch to get a foothold on the oceans surface pushing towards our forecast area.
New Zealand Storm
Late Wednesday (6/20) a new storm organized well south of Tasmania with pressure 956 mbs and winds building to 50 kts over a small area at 57S 140E aimed northeast and barely in the Hawaiian-Fiji swell window (208 degrees) that goes through the Tasman Sea. Energy was also aimed right up the 220 degree path from California but an unbelievable 7815 nmiles away.
By Thursday AM (6/21) winds continued at 45-50 kts at 50S 150E again on the eastern edge of the Hawaiian swell window, but pushing energy up into it. These winds were also aimed about 15 degrees north of the 220 degree path to California and still 7400 nmiles away. Seas were modeled at 32 ft at 57S 140E. The low held in the evening with winds still 45-50 kts at 44S 162E again right on the very edge of the swell window relative to Hawaii. Also winds were aimed just north of the very edge of the California swell window up the 221 degree path. Seas were modeled at 35 ft at 52S 150E. The Jason-1 satellite made a pass over the western edge of the fetch and reported seas at 31 ft at 49S 150E, completely consistent with the WW3 wave model.
By Friday AM (6/22) the fetch was impacting New Zealand at 40-45 kts but was totally obscured by land relative to Hawaii. But new fetch at 45 kts was just under New Zealand at 47S 173E aimed towards Ca up the 219 degree path. The Jason-1 satellite reported seas of near 30 ft on the very edge of the Hawaiian swell window at 43S 165E, consistent with the wave model output. In the evening the low was reorganizing well southeast of New Zealand just off Antarctica with pressure 944 mbs with a broad area of 40 kts winds pushing northeast up the eastern coast of New Zealand at 50S 171E pushing right up the 201 degree great circle path to Hawaii and equally well up the 221 degree path to California. The ocean was not yet fully responding to this new wind source. though 33 ft seas continued at 49S 165E pushing towards California.
On Saturday (6/23) 50 kts winds were developing almost under the low over Antarctic Ice with only 30-35 kts winds persisting east of New Zealand. The models suggested a small area of 30 ft seas at 47S 178E pushing towards Hawaii up the 201 degree path and the 220 degree path to California, but likely too small to have much impact on the later. In the evening 50 kts winds were confirmed at 55S 168E blowing right up the 201 degree path to Hawaii and 30 degrees north of the 215 degree path to California. 29 ft seas were holding just east of New Zealand at 45S 180W.
On Sunday AM (6/24) finally a good fetch of 40-45 kts south winds started pushing north from the low at 55S 170E generating a new area of 32 ft sea at the same location aimed right at Hawaii up the 201 degree path and 20 degrees north of the 213 degree path to California. In the evening the fetch started fading down to 35 kts at 50S 175E with 32 ft seas at 50S 173E aimed the same way as all previous readings.
By Monday AM (6/25) a broad fetch was still in-place aimed north but only at 30 kts with stronger winds pushing off Antarctic Ice. Sea were fading from 28 ft at 50S 178E. Nothing by nightfall of interest expected with seas fading from 27 ft at 53S 180W.
Some form of decent 17-18 sec period swell seems likely for Hawaii pushing from the Tasman Sea northward from not too far a distance (4886-6105 nmiles), but likely experienced some grating and commensurate size reduction thanks to Fiji and surrounding Islands. The Wavewatch III wam does not recognize these islands as existing, so any output from it regarding swell heights will be overstated. Energy was also tracking under New Zealand with the fetch aimed reasonably well up the great circle paths to California too, but an incredible long distance away (6067-7815 nmiles). But a second burst of larger size is expected from when the storm moved clear of New Zealand thanks to it's close proximity to Hawaii (4623-4937 nmiles) and good aim. Less size expected for California due to the long travel distance (6110-6528 nmiles) and the rather off-angle heading.
Hawaii: The last bits of still decent energy to continue trickling in Wednesday (7/4) at 3 ft @ 13-14 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces), fading from 3 ft @ 13 secs Thursday (4 ft faces) and 3 ft @ 12 secs (3.5 ft faces) Friday. Swell direction 185-195 degrees.
South California: Small energy sneaking in from under New Zealand Sunday (7/1) by sunrise with period 20-21 secs but tiny if event noticeable and trickling up. On Monday (7/2) swell to start becoming noticeable as period drops to 17 secs near noon with swell 2 ft @ 17 secs (3 ft faces) from 220 degrees. This swell to continue Tuesday at 2.6 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Expect real swell arrival starting Wednesday AM (7/4) with period 17 secs and size building to 2.6 ft @ 16 secs late (4 ft faces) and continued 14-15 sec energy intermixed from under New Zealand at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding at 2.4-2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces early) Thursday (7/5) . Swell fading from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs Friday mid-day (3.5 ft faces) and 2.5 ft @ 13 secs Saturday (3 ft faces). Swell Direction: 211-221 degrees
North California: Small energy to start sneaking in from under New Zealand Sunday (7/1) mid-morning with period 20-21 secs but tiny, very inconsistent and likely unnoticeable. Size coming up. Swell to start becoming rideable Monday (7/2) near 2 PM with swell 2 ft @ 17 secs (3 ft faces) from 220 degrees. This swell to continue Tuesday (7/3) building to 2.6-3.0 ft @ 16 secs (3.5-4.5 ft faces). Expect real swell arrival starting Wednesday AM (7/4) with period 17 secs and size building to 2.6 ft @ 16 secs late (4 ft faces) and continued 14-15 sec energy intermixed from under New Zealand at 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5 ft). Swell holding at 2.4-2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces early) Thursday (7/5). Swell fading from 2.5 ft @ 14 secs Friday mid-day (3.5 ft faces) and 2.5 ft @ 13 secs Saturday (3 ft faces). Swell Direction: 213-219 degrees
New Zealand Storm Rejuvenation
Some very limited rejuvenation of the above system started Thursday AM (7/28) with a fragmented fetch of south to southwest winds at 30-35 kts at 33S 160W aimed well towards Tahiti and Hawaii up the 180 degree paths. 23 ft seas were modeled at 30S 165W. In the evening winds built to 40 kts over a tiny area at 35S 150W embedded in a broader area of 30-35 kts winds again aimed north. 23 ft seas were modeled at 30S 153W, with larger seas already aimed south towards Antarctica.
Friday AM (7/29) 40 kt winds held, but taking aim more to the northeast and east and changing direction fast, limiting it's foothold on any one square inch of the oceans surface. 25 ft seas were modeled at 30S 157W aimed north towards Hawaii, Tahiti and California. In the evening only lingering 25-30 kt fetch were aimed north, with most winds taking aimed towards Antarctica. 23 ft seas still modeled at 28S 152W aimed like before. This system was effectively dead.
Some form of 13-14 sec period swell is expected for Hawaii and California, though well decayed size-wise upon arrival. And given all the stronger swell source above, this energy will most likely just look like a continuation of the swell, serving only to extend it's life mainly in regards to Hawaii. Forecast Details posted above.
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 the models suggest weak low pressure to get a bit better foothold across the corridor south of the Aleutians moving from west to east and into the Gulf of Alaska. The lows (2 of them) are to not really have any swell generation potential themselves, but are expected to push building high pressure a bit south and east. The result to be a building trade wind pattern over the Hawaiian Islands starting Saturday (7/7) with north winds continuing over Central California. Trades to continue over the Hawaiian Islands in the 20 kt range through Tuesday of next week (7/10) with short period easterly windswell expected. Also north winds and the usual windswell expected to be in-place over Cape Mendocino pushing down the California coast Wednesday into next week as well with the usual increase in windswell forecast.
Beyond 72 hours a bit more active pattern is suggested developing under the Tasmania/New Zealand region generating fleeting bits of 40 kt fetch aimed northeast. Some potential for limited swell development, especially for Hawaii, but it's way too early to know with any certainty. At least there's some hope.
Details to follow...
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New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.
6th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race: Saturday June 23rd 2007. Surftech is presenting the 6th Annual Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race. The “Jay Race” is considered one of the premiere paddleboard races on the West Coast attracting the states best paddlers to compete in the challenging waters of the Monterey Bay. is the 12-mile race course that start's and finishes at beautiful New Brighton State Beach in Aptos and loops through the kelp beds of the Monterey Bay. In addition to the 12 mile race, there will be a 2 mile Short Course and Youth Races for paddlers of all levels. The 2 mile race is an opportunity for paddlers of all levels to compete.” It's about sharing the spirit and stoke that Jay shared with everyone” With this spirit in mind, many competitors partaking in the 12 mile race offer their boards to newer competitors to use in the shorter race. With the 12 mile race starting at 8:30 am, the other races begin mid day with the awards being presented at around 2:00 pm. For more information:
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Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_alt.html
Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here: http://www.surfingtravel.com/
Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and people that make up the surf community. Check it out here: http://www.thesurfbook.com
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table