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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: July 31, 2007 7:17 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 7/30 thru Sun 8/5
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   

South Pacific Totally Shuts Down
Small Windswell For California & Hawaii

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (7/31) Northern CA surf was chest to head high with a few bigger peaks and marginally cleaner at the right spots. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were flat. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to barely chest high and junky. Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was up to thigh high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to maybe chest high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to near chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore continued with waist to chest high surf. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California was getting a little more northwest windswell compared to days previous, but with unremarkable conditions. Southern California was getting minimal wrap-around northwest windswell and small southern hemi background swell. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. The South Shore was getting a final push of small southern hemi swell. The North Pacific was completely non-functional other than the usual high pressure induced windswell focused on North and Central California. But it has peaked out and is expected to head down for the rest of the week, only to return a bit for the weekend. The South Pacific is essentially asleep too, with no swell producing fetch having occurred aimed north towards our forecast area and none forecast for the next 7 days. So a prolonged flat spell appears to be already in the works, as if it wasn't flat enough over on the mainland. Now Hawaii will get to share in the misery. The only saving grace will be windswell, expected for both the mainland and Hawaii for the weekend then continuing in the Islands but fading for California into next week. Make the most of what you can get. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (7/31) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with only a weak flow pushing west to east over the Aleutians dipping a little south as it tracked through the Gulf of Alaska. Maximum winds were 110 kts in tiny pockets. No support for low pressure development indicated. Over the next 72 hours no significant change is forecast, with a ridge trying to build into the Gulf. Beyond 72 hours wind speeds to come up to 130 kts, but only pushing into the building ridge in the Gulf suppressing surface level low pressure development. The rest of the jet to remain hanging over the Aleutians, providing no support for surface level low pressure development.

At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1020-1024 mbs was in control of the entire North Pacific, with the most dominant node positioned 700 nmiles west of San Francisco ridging northeast and generating the usual 25-30 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino producing moderate 9 sec period windswell along exposed breaks mostly in Central CA. No other fetch of interest was occurring in the North Pacific relative to our forecast area. Over the next 72 hrs through Friday (8/3) the high to build to 1032 mbs off California and lift a little further north producing steady 20-25 kts winds a bit North of Cape Mendocino and aimed a little more south and less towards the coast, reducing windswell generation potential for California. But by Friday the high is to be large enough to start pushing a decent area of 15-20 kt northeast winds towards Hawaii, with windswell generation potential coming up, but nothing of interest just yet with period still in the 6-7 sec range.

 

Tropics
Typhoon Usagi was located about 660 nmiles south of Tokyo Japan tracking northwest with sustained winds 115 kts and on the increase. No chang in heading is forecast with the center of the storm pushing over south most Japan late Wednesday with winds near super typhoon status at 120-130 kts. It is to continue northwest moving into the Sea of Japan, then recurving north and northeast, but landlocked there. At this time there is no indication enough of it will survive to successfully return to the North Pacific as a swell producing system. But if it was, Sunday (8/5) is the day it could re-enter open waters.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (7/31) high pressure at 1024 mbs was pushing into the Oregon and Washington coasts from a point 700 nmiles west of San Francisco generating a broad fetch of 25 kt north winds off North CA producing moderate windswell, but not impacting the coast making for decent local wind conditions. By Wednesday the winds to continue but pulled even more off the coast, reducing windswell generation potential but providing better local winds, though an eddy flow will likely set up with south winds taking over. More of the same is forecast through Friday but with decreased winds off North CA and shrinking windswell. The gradient to build again for the weekend with 20-25 kt north winds regenerating off Cape Mendocino and windswell coming up some, but the fetch to move much closer to the coast, making for a more wobbly surfing experience. That to start fading late Sunday as the high pressure system heads out to sea (west) and windswell fading with it. Calmness forecast for early next week.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (7/31) for the South Pacific indicated a split zonal flow with the two branches of the jet flowing more or less west to east with no significant contact between the two. A faint trough was pushing slightly north in the southern branch helping to set up an area a little more favorable for low pressure development in the far Southeast Pacific, but wind speeds were fairly weak (110 kts at best). Nothing supportive of low pressure development was indicated. Over the next 72 hours through Friday (8/3) more of the same is forecast, but with energy from the Northern branch crashing south, expected to join the southern branch over the weekend. but for now no functional change expected. Beyond 72 hours this trough is to get a big boost of energy as the northern branch of the jet merges with it by late Friday with winds 170 kts, but positioned at 125W and aimed due east towards Chile, providing no assistance to surface low pressure taking aim towards California (and totally outside the Hawaiian swell window). A massive ridge to be in control of the Southwestern Pacific. Then even that trough in the southeast to fade out with only a big ridge suppressing storm development across the width of the South Pacific and holding into next Wednesday (8/8).

At the surface today weak but broad pool of low pressure at 972 mbs was in the Southeast Pacific generating pockets of up to 40 kts winds aimed somewhat to the northeast, but focused mainly on Chile and Peru. No seas of interest were occurring relative to California or Hawaii. Over the next 72 hours this low to generate a more pronounced patch of 45 kts winds near 60S 140W early Wednesday pushing generally east generating 32 ft seas, but again aimed all east at Southern Chile. It to be out of the CA swell window by Thursday AM. No hope here. No other swell source indicated either.

 

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 3 ft @ 13 secs Wednesday (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Swell fading on Thursday from 2.3 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 a broad high pressure system at 1032 mbs to remain positioned in the Southern Gulf of Alaska driving a board area of 20-25 kts north winds almost towards California with an increasing area of 20-25 kt northeast winds taking aim at the Hawaiian Islands. Windswell to be on the increase for both locations (see QuikCAST's for details). This to hold through the weekend then the high is to retrograde to the west with the north wind pressure gradient off California fading and windswell going with it. A decent easterly flow to continue aimed at Hawaii through Monday (8/6) then fading with windswell dissipating. Calmness to build in.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that high pressure is to take over the South Pacific severely limiting low pressure development. Virtually no fetch of interest is forecast in the South Pacific other than one little patch aimed towards southern Chile. No swell producing potential expected relative to either Hawaii or California.

Details to follow...

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MAVERICKSSURF MAVFILM MAVSURFER SURFPULSE Inside Mavericks Randy Cone Surfboards

Local Interest

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/

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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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