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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 26, 2007 10:00 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 = 0.5 - California & 2.5 - 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 7/23 thru Sun 7/29
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   

Hawaii Continues with S. Hemi Swell
Windswell Best Bet for California

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Thursday (7/26) Northern CA surf was up to chest high and junky. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to near chest high and junky. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was waist high and even a little more on the sets at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high with a few bigger sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore continued in the waist high range. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California was getting little northwest windswell. Southern California was getting a mix of minimal northwest windswell and small southern hemi background swell. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. The South Shore continued to get small southern hemi background swell. The North Pacific is in hibernation with no end in sight, though high pressure was helping to generate windswell along the California coast, with more expected in the days ahead. Little bits of windswell are to creep into the Hawaiian forecast too over the next week, but nothing particularly notable. The South Pacific continues to underperform with no solid swell producing systems having occurred in the past week and none on the charts for the week ahead. A series of weak gales have pushed some background to small utility class energy north towards both Hawaii and California, with Hawaii expected to fare best due to it's close proximity to these systems. But California is to either be too far away or shadowed by Tahiti, limiting the resulting swell to the impulse class range. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/26) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with only a weak flow pushing west to east south of the Aleutians roughly along the 45N latitude line. Over the next 72 hours no significant change is forecast other than the faintest hint of a trough trying to form in the Gulf of Alaska Sunday (7/29) into early next week, though winds are only forecast in the 60 kt range. Beyond 72 hours that trough to fade and a weak flow is to continue generally moving over the Aleutians and providing no support for surface level low pressure development.

At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1024 mbs was positioned 900 nmiles north of Oahu ridging mainly east into Northern California generating 25 kt north winds Pt Arena producing small 8-9 sec period windswell along exposed breaks down into Central CA. The high was only producing a fragmented area of 15-20 kt easterly winds off it's south side resulting in normal trades over the Hawaii Islands and minimal short period windswell. Over the next 72 hrs through Sunday (7/29) things to remain essentially unchanged with moderate 20-25 kt north winds continuing over North California pushing nearshore into Central CA and producing small to moderate windswell into exposed breaks .Windswell generation potential to remain suppressed for Hawaii with easterly fetch limited to 15-20 kts over a fragmented area.

 

Tropics
Tropical Storm Dalila was located 2400 nmiles due north of the island of Clarion and generally west of Cabo San Lucas with sustained winds 40 kts generating 13 ft seas aimed reasonably well to the north. This storm was in the Southern California swell window at 168 degrees relative to Dana Point and 700 nmiles away. The storm was tracking northwest at 9 kts and expected to continue this general heading while weakening by evening, falling down to tropical depression status with winds 35 kts or less and slowly dissipating from there. Theoretically there was faint probability for the leading edge of 11 sec period swell from this system (back of Tuesday) pushing into exposed breaks in the Dana Point area starting mid-day today (Thursday), maybe peaking out Friday in the 10 sec range and fading from there. But at 700-900 nmiles away, much decay has occurred. No energy is currently showing at the local buoys either. Odds low for any swell to result.

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (7/26) high pressure at 1026 mbs was north of Hawaii ridging eastward into North California, generating the usual 20-25 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino then sweeping down the coast to Pt Conception and producing small to moderate northerly windswell pushing into Central CA with less wrapping into exposed breaks in Southern CA. This situation to hold through the weekend, with junky windswell and onshore winds nearshore the expected result. Late Sunday the high is to start pushing east with winds building to 30 kts Monday into Tuesday (7/31) with windswell coming up. And on Tuesday this fetch area is to pull away from the coast south of Pt Reyes, making for cleaner conditions south of there. Wednesday and Thursday (8/2) are still to see a solid area of 25 kt northwest winds off Cape Mendocino and pulled away from the coast south of there, offering slightly smaller windswell and still relatively clean. Limited energy to be wrapping into exposed breaks in Southern CA.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Thursdays jetstream charts (7/26) for the South Pacific indicated a rather strange jetstream flow with most energy in the northern branch pushing east above New Zealand, making it to a point well southeast of Tahiti then diving south to Antarctic Ice and pushing into Southern Chile. A broad but weak cutoff low in the far upper atmosphere held control of the area south of New Zealand. The net effect was weak support for surface level low pressure development south of New Zealand, with an unfavorable pattern everywhere else. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (7/29) the cutoff low is to slowly track northeast, eventually colliding with the northern branch of the jet south of Tahiti, forming a gentle trough there, but not really supportive of surface level low pressure development. Beyond 72 hours this trough to persist and try and even amplify some, but never really making it far. 130 kt winds are to be gradually lifting to the northeast in the Southeast Pacific providing the only area capable of supporting surface level low pressure development. Otherwise a split jetstream flow to be developing over/under Australia tracking east and likely providing an unfavorable pattern for the days beyond.

At the surface today weak low pressure at 988 mbs was south of Tahiti not generating any swell producing fetch with a second broad low at 972 mbs south of New Zealand generating an area of near 40 kts winds in it's southwest sector but entirely over the Ross Ice Shelf and generating no seas of interest. In short, a rather uneventful configuration. Over the next 72 hours the New Zealand low is to lift northeast with pressure riding to 976 mbs generating 30-35 kts winds in it;s north quadrant aimed due east towards Chile and providing no fetch of interest relative to either Hawaii or California. No other systems of interest are forecast.

Gale #1
A fetch developed late Thursday (7/19) into Friday associated with a 984 mb low well south of Tahiti. 30-35 kts south winds were confirmed at roughly 50S 160W into early Saturday (7/21) generating 23-25 ft seas at 45S 155W targeting Hawaii quite well through mid-Saturday (7/21). Swell expected in Hawaii starting Sunday (7/29) at 2 ft @ 16-17 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) and on the increase reaching near 3 ft @ 14 secs (4 ft faces) Monday. Swell Direction: 180-185 degrees.

Gale #2
On Monday (7/23) a complex area of low pressure (really 2 separate lows in close proximity to each other) set up east of New Zealand generating an elongated fetch of southwesterly winds with the core reaching 45 kts near 43S 163W. A tiny area of 30 ft seas was confirmed by the Jason-1 satellite at 39S 162W aimed 20 degrees east of the 181 degree path to Hawaii well up the 206 degree path to California but totally shadowed by Tahiti. The fetch continued into the evening drifting generally east with peak winds near the 35-40 kt range. 27 ft seas over a tiny area at 40S 160W. Tuesday morning winds were down to 35 kts at 42S 156W aimed reasonably well up the 205 degree path to California and unshadowed and almost out of the Hawaiian swell window. 23 ft seas were aimed towards Hawaii and fading at 40S 160W with 27 ft seas at 39S 150W aimed about 25 degrees east of the 201 degree path to California. 35 kts winds to hold in this area (40S 153W) in the evening with 25 ft seas forecast at 37S 150W pushing towards California up the 203 degree path and partially shadowed by Tahiti. By Wednesday AM (7/25) the last fading remnants of this fetch to be centered at 37S 150W with winds 30 kts aimed and shadowed like before relative to California. 25 ft seas are forecast at 35S 150W aimed northeast, but again partially shadowed. By evening this system is to be gone with 24 ft seas fading at 35S 145W. For the most part this swell was aimed best at Hawaii and in closer proximity, providing them the best shot for surf. California was shadowed by Tahiti from the bulk of this and will like see only minimally rideable surf (details to be provided in the QuikCAST's). Swell expected in Hawaii starting Tuesday (7/31) at 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) continuing at 2.6 ft @ 13 secs Wednesday (3.0-3.5 ft faces). Swell fading on Thursday from 2 ft @ 12 secs (2.5 ft faces). Swell Direction: 190 degrees.

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate high pressure to continue in the 1024 mb range pushing from a position north of Hawaii towards California by Monday (7/30). The result is to be 30 kt north winds over a small area off Cape Mendocino through Tuesday (7/31) building increasing northwest windswell into Central California and wrapping some into Southern CA. Hawaii to start seeing a modest solidification of trades by Wednesday (8/1) with wind speeds in the 20 kt range but getting a better footprint over waters east of the Islands, extending from just off California the whole way into the island chain. Windswell on the increase to the lower range with period up to 6-7 secs.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that the aforementioned low pressure system is to continue expanding it's coverage into early next week possibly getting reinforcement late Monday (7/30) with a fetch of 40 kts winds developing in it's western quadrant near 55S 160W aimed reasonably well to the northeast. It's to track more east than north into late Wednesday (8/1) with winds sporadically up to 45 kts aimed like before. Seas possibly to the 29 ft range, but there is much disparity amongst the models. Confidence low in any particular outcome. This is the best the models have to offer, and the likelihood of something much less is high.

Details to follow...

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MAVERICKSSURF MAVFILM MAVSURFER SURFPULSE Inside Mavericks Randy Cone Surfboards

Local Interest

Jackson Browne, Ben Harper and special guests are performing at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on July 29th. Their soulful performances on this date will benefit Boarding House Mentors, an organization that brings the stoke of surfing to inner city youth. More here: www.boardinghousementors.org

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.

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

New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/

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!
http://www.google.com/ig/add?moduleurl=http://www.stormsurf.com/gadget/stormsurf .xml

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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