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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 24, 2005 10:41 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 2.0 - California & 2.0 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 7/25 thru Sun 7/31
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Last S. Hemi Energy Trickles into CA
South Pacific Sleeps

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (7/24) Northern CA surf was shoulder to head high and a bit disorganized. South facing breaks were waist to maybe chest high on the biggest sets. Central California was averaging waist high with some rare chest high sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were in the waist high range with a few chest high sets. The LA area southward into Orange County was also waist to chest high with up to head high sets at the best spots. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with some rare head high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high and fading after a week of fun sized surf. The East Shore was waist high.

The last little pulse of southern hemi energy is dying in Hawaii and near peaking in California. Still, it is nothing to write home about with average size in the waist to chest high range. Get it while you can though because there has been no swell producing storms in the southern hemi for the past week and nothing on the charts for the next week. Windwell will be the best hope. See details below...

We experienced a power outage that shut down our weather and wave model servers while out on vacation. That situation has been resolved and things are back up and operating normally.

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
At the jetstream level on Sunday (7/24) a weak trough was north of Hawaii and another trough over Oregon but neither of these were anywhere close to suggesting that they had swell generation potential at the surface (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the Hawaiian ridge is to track east slightly while the Oregon trough fades. Again, no swell potential whatsoever.

At the surface today high pressure at 1028 mbs was just off the Oregon coast forming a weak version of the usual summertime pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino with north winds there about 25 kts. This high was trailing back to the west north of Hawaii reaching the dateline then fading while tropical storm Banyan was building west of Iwo Jima and well south of Japan with 60 kt winds (animation here). Over the next 72 hours things are to hold pretty static with the exception being the strengthening of the high off Oregon to 1032 mbs on Monday (7/25) and north winds off Cape Mendocino building to 30 kts, improving the potential for windswell from North and Central CA. Persistent easterly trades at 20 kts forecast for the Islands continuing the windswell there.

More model data here

 

California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (7/24) indicated strong high pressure at 1030 mbs positioned 800 nmiles west of South Oregon ridging up into the Gulf of Alaska and west north of Hawaii. Moderate 20-25 kt fetch was positioned just off Cape Mendocino producing windswell for North and Central CA. The high is to build some and push a little more east on Monday with winds in the Cape Mendocino gradient pushing up to 30 kts through Tuesday morning (7/26), but then the high is to start retrograding to the south and west with the winds off the Cape noticeably fading by Thursday (7/28) and the windswell with it. Weak low pressure is forecast for the Gulf of Alaska by Friday (7/29) further suppressing the high through next weekend, but not totally erasing it. This holds out hope that windswell will continue to provide something rideable north of Pt Conception.

The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.

 

South Pacific

Overview
On Sunday (7/23) the jetstream charts indicated a split jet was in full affect with the northern branch containing all the energy with winds at 150 kts. The southern branch was sweeping east over the Ross Ice Shelf to Southern Chile. There was no support for surface level storm production (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the picture gets even worse with the two branches separating more over the entire South Pacific, with 2400 nmiles of dead air between the two.

At the surface high pressure at 1032 mbs was positioned well west of Chile with a second high at 1020 mbs over Northern New Zealand. No low pressure of any kind was present in the South Pacific and whatever fetch present was aimed due south at Antarctica. The "Roaring Forties" were sleeping (animation here). Over the next 72 hours no change in the pattern is forecast with a steady southward push indicated as any fetch that tracks under New Zealand gets put on a collision course with Antarctica. The pattern is horrendous.

More model data here

 

New Zealand Storm (formally Potential Storm #6)
Forecast History
A new storm developed late Tuesday (7/12) under New Zealand. An existing 960 mb low was fading in the morning just southeast of New Zealand producing residual 35-40 kt winds aimed northeast towards the Northern Hemisphere while new energy at 972 mbs was tracking under Tasmania and starting to merge with it. By the evening core pressure was down to 964 mbs with a small but developing 45-55 kt fetch of confirmed east winds centered near 51S 168E aimed 20 degrees east of the 218 degree path to California and 50 degree east of the 198 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 29 ft centered at 53S 160E.

On Wednesday AM (7/13) the consolidated storm had pressure at 956 mbs with 50-55 kts winds aimed a bit north of due east imbedded in a broad area of 35 kt+ fetch centered at 52S 174W. High pressure at 1020 mbs was just north helping to fuel a gradient between these two systems and generating the winds. These winds were aimed 25 degrees east of the 213 degree path to California and 70 degrees east of the 190 degree great circle path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 29 ft centered at 50S 174E. In the evening pressure dropped to 944 mbs in the core of the low (a bit south of the fetch area) as the fetch expanded with a rather large elongated area of 40-50 kts winds centered near 51S 167W aimed mostly due east. this easterly heading was not encouraging (unless you're in Chile), These winds were aimed 35 degrees east of the 205 degree path to California and 50 degrees east of the 183 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were again modeled at 29 ft but over a broad area centered at 52S 175W.

On Thursday AM (7/14) the fetch look less invigorated with the QuikSCAT satellite confirming a broad area of 35-40 kt fetch centered at 50S 165W while the core of the low dove south at 928 mbs. These winds were all aimed due east or 30 degree east of the 210 degree path to California and 70 degrees east of the 187 degree path to Hawaii. This was not good. Seas were modeled up to 33 ft centered at 51S 165W. In the evening the gradient is to start fading fast with winds down to 35-40 kts over a shrinking area centered at 50S 155W aimed east. Seas from previous days fetch forecast at 35 ft centered at 52S 158W.

On Friday AM (7/15) a new 976 mb low is to develop in the wake of this storm producing a tiny fetch of 40-45 kts winds centered at 53S 175E and aimed northeast, right up the 213 degree path to California and 10 degrees east of the 191 degree path to Hawaii. Seas forecast at 32 ft centered at 52S 148W from the main storm and building from the new storm. In the evening winds are to hold, peaking on Saturday (7/16) at 50-55 kts over a tiny area centered at 52S 155W aimed just like before. Seas 30 ft over a tiny area at 53S 150W. But this fetch is to fade overnight with little left by Sunday morning (7/17) as high pressure starts taking over. Seas fading.

Swell Generation Potential
This system was initially to be a fairly strong system with the fetch covering a much broader area than anything this season. Unfortunately reality has caught up with the models and instead we've got another utility class storm. BAsed on a mixture of confirmed and forecast data this one is to hold together over the same area of the oceans surface for about 72 hours covering a reasonable fetch area, the only thing in it's favor. But it is to be rather far away from the US mainland (5545-6711 nmiles) and at an oblique angle for Hawaii. This angle to significantly reduce swell size even though the Islands are much closer to the fetch (4419-4983 nmiles) than the mainland. Tahiti is the closest and reasonably well on the main swell track compared to any other popular location. Still the main focus looks like Peru. This storm to have significant class swell generation potential for targets in South America and Tahiti (if you like long period groomed lines) but only utility class potential up Central America into California with small utility class potential for Hawaii.

Expect swell arrival into Southern California Saturday (7/25) at 3 AM with size tiny building slowly and peaking mid-day Sunday (7/26) and holding into Monday sunrise with swell 2.8-3.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.2-4.8 ft faces - slightly bigger at the best breaks). Swell Direction: 207-218 degrees

Northern California to get the same size, just arriving 4 hours later than SCal with swell 2.8-3.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (4.2-4.8 ft faces). Swell Direction: 205-216 degrees

 

QuikCAST

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Sundays upper level models (7/23) indicate that beyond 72 hours a large ridge is to set up in the West Pacific on Saturday (7/30) while a broad trough builds in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. No suggestion of any surface storm production.

At the surface high pressure in the Gulf is to sink south, stretch along a west to east line and retrograde to a position north of Hawaii through Saturday (7/30). This is to reduce the gradient off Cape Mendocino and make the trades a little more shallow off Hawaii. No change expected then through the weekend.

 

South Pacific

Sundays upper level models (7/24) indicated that beyond 72 hours the mid-Pacific split jetstream pattern is to hold through next weekend. Only minor ripples are forecast along the southern branch of the jet but there is no sign whatsoever of an impending push to the north indicative of any developing troughs. It doesn't get much worse.

At the surface solid high pressure at 1036 mbs is to take over the core of the South Pacific driving any eastward moving storm systems under Australia straight over the Ross Ice Shelf. The high is to hold tight for the foreseeable future with reinforcements suggested moving in by next weekend.

Details to follow...


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Local Interest

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

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

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