On Thursday (7/13) Northern CA surf was thigh high and weak with a light onshore breeze. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were near flat again. Central California surf was thigh high on the sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat with best breaks thigh to maybe waist high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County was pushing thigh high with best breaks having waist high sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were thigh to waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was thigh to waist high with maybe chest high inconsistent sets. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
There remained no surf in California both north and south. Hawaii was seeing a little southern hemi pulse, but it was weak. The South Pacific remains locked down in an unfavorable jetstream pattern with only the faintest of hope for a change now starting to appear on the models. Tiny fragments of swell energy are tracking up the Tasman Sea and under New Zealand towards Hawaii, but not expected to provide much there, with no hope for California. Local windswell is looking to be the best hope for California north of Pt Conception, providing some potential for rideable surf in the near-term future. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/13) indicated a seasonally weak flow providing no support for surface level gale development for the next 7 days.
At the surface on Thursday (7/13) high pressure at 1032 mbs was dominating the North Pacific centered well north of Hawaii ridging well over the Islands but not into California yet. This configuration was generating 15-20 kt easterly trades over the Hawaiian Islands producing short period windswell there. Low pressure schedule for the Gulf of Alaska did not develop as strong as expected Wednesday, only producing 20 kt northwest winds and minimal windswell pushing towards California and the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/16) the Hawaiian high is to start shifting east generating the standard pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino CA as it interacts with lower pressure inland generating north winds 25-30 kts there by late Saturday with windswell at 8-9 secs on the increase at exposed breaks in north and Central CA.
Hurricane Bud was well southwest of Cabo San Lucas tracking west-northwest at 15 kts with sustained winds 95 kts producing 26 ft seas. Unfortunately this track has been maintained throughout it's life sending all swell off to the west and bypassing any route to California. Official guidance suggests Bud to continue on this track and steadily degrade over the next 5 days, falling below tropical depression status at that time. No swell generation potential.
Hurricane Carlotta was 360 nmiles due south of Cabo San Lucas tracking west-northwest at 12 kts with sustained winds 70 kts producing 22 ft seas. Unfortunately this track fairly much ensures that no swell producing fetch will be aimed at California, again sending all swell energy off to the west. Official guidance suggests Carlotta to hold at minimal hurricane strength for 24 hours the starting decaying over the next 4 days, falling to tropical depression status at that time. No swell generation potential.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
Northwest wind were suppressed Thursday and expected to continue that way into Friday as we wait for high pressure to start pushing onshore by Saturday. By Sunday a solid gradient of 25-30 kts north winds to set up off Cape Mendocino generating windswell (see forecast above) pushing up to 30 kts solid by Monday but pulling away from the coast south of Pt Reyes then pulling even further out late Wednesday with calmer winds and cleaner conditions settling in locally, or even a slight eddy flow (southwest winds) setting up for North and Central CA then. The short story is decent windswell generation potential with improving local conditions.
The detailed 5 Day Wind Forecast is included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Thursday (7/13) the unfavorable jetstream pattern continued unchanged with a split jetstream flow in-place over the entire South Pacific. The southern branch had winds barely up to 90 kts and was traversing Antarctic Ice over the entire width of the South Pacific. The Northern branch remained dominant with winds up to 150 kts crossing Northern New Zealand then down to 130 kts flowing flat over the rest of the South Pacific into Chile. No significant troughs or areas of interest were indicated capable of supporting surface level storm or gale development. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/16) the southern branch to continue it's track over Antarctic Ice while the northern branch looses a little energy and continues flat west to east reinforcing the unproductive pattern at the surface. Beyond 72 hours no significant change is forecast other than perhaps the slightest hint of a trough trying to build southeast of New Zealand late Thursday (7/20), but that seems unlikely.
At the surface on Thursday (7/13) high pressure at 1032 mbs was centered east of New Zealand ridging southeast to nearly the eastern Ross Ice Shelf and locking down the entire area east of 170W to 120W, or most of the South Pacific. Over the next 72 the that high to fade with a new one building over New Zealand to 1032 mbs continuing the lockdown, with any low pressure pushing west to east forced over the Ross Ice Shelf and isolated from ice free waters. A quiet pattern continues for the greater South Pacific with no indication of any swell generation suggested.
Previous Mini Fetch Events
On Thursday (7/6) a decent storm was south of Tasmania generating up to 50 kts winds and up to 40 ft seas bound for Fiji at a bit of a tangent angle, with dribbles possible for Hawaii after being ground down by Fiji and surrounding Islands. That swell to arrive on the South Shore late on Thursday (7/13) peaking Saturday (7/15) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) from 210 degrees. This to be a long-laster, but very inconsistent. At least it's something rideable.
On Sunday PM (7/9) a tiny low developed under New Zealand building to 968 mbs while tracking slowly southeast producing 55 kt winds aimed east to northeast over a tiny area for 24 hours then fading to 45 kts before the systems crashed into the Ross Ice Shelf. Seas were modeled at 32-36 ft for 30 hours from 55S 175E tracking to 60S 160W suggesting tiny swell might be heading towards Hawaii. But the fact that the fetch was tracking southeast away from the Islands should surely limit swell generation capacity for the Islands. Background swell likely for Hawaii around 7/24 with period 16 secs from 200 degrees, but likely not hardly noticeable.
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 high pressure to continue pushing east ridging up into southwestern Canada generating northwest winds off Cape Mendocino at 30 kts into Thursday (7/20) then moderating some. 9 sec period windswell to continue along the North and Central CA coast. Conversely trades to significantly falter over the Hawaiian Islands fading to 15 kts or less by late Saturday (7/15) eliminating windswell generation there well into next week.
Beyond 72 hours the unfavorable ridge in the upper levels is to continue driving low pressure well to the south of ice free waters while high pressure controls the storm corridor between 60-40S. Virtually no swell producing system forecast until Thursday (7/20) when a gale is forecast developing under New Zealand pushing 45-50 kt winds to the northeast. but this has been modeled all summer, and has not materialized. So we're taking a skeptical view and projecting little chance of it happening this time either.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table