On Tuesday (8/2) Northern CA surf was thigh to waist high. South facing breaks were waist high. Central California surf was up to waist high at the beset breaks. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were maybe up to waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was up to waist high with rarely bigger sets at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high with some slightly larger sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was waist high.
The southern hemi continues non-productive with only a faint bit of fetch in the Southeast Pacific aimed towards Southern California. The models suggest another equal fetch just a bit west of the first early next week aimed towards all of California, but high pressure is to retain it's firm grip on the core of the South Pacific. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
At the jetstream level on Tuesday (8/2) a weak trough was north of Hawaii feeding into the Gulf of Alaska with maximum winds at 70 kts, very weak. It did not have any storm generation potential. No other features were noted (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the trough in the Gulf is to fade and lift north being replace with a mild ridge while a stronger trough tries to build in the West Pacific over Kamchatka. In all nothing indicative of support for gale of storm formation at the surface.
At the surface today dominant high pressure at 1024 mbs was centered over Vancouver Island sweeping southwest just north of Hawaii dropping to 1020 mbs then west to the dateline and up to the Kuril Islands. The high was also continuing a steady trade wind flow over the Hawaiian Islands and the generation of easterly windswell there. Some limited north winds from the high were also centered just off Cape Mendocino with a few barbs to near 30 kts, but the coverage area was tiny. Some limited windswell generation potential continued there. A weak 996 mb low was in the northern Gulf of Alaska with 20 kt west winds in it's south quadrant aimed at the Pacific Northwest. Little swell generation potential suggested (animation here). Over the next 72 hours through Friday (8/5) the high is to consolidate more in the the Gulf of Alaska with pressure building to 1028 mbs. Tradewinds to continue over the Hawaiian Islands maybe loosing a little areal coverage. North winds to continue off Cape Mendocino at 20-25 kts. Windswell to continue at both locations in the moderate size range in Hawaii and small along North California. Low pressure at 992 mbs to build off Kamchatka working it's way to the dateline but no fetch/wind of interest forecast.
More model data here
California Offshore Forecast
Tuesdays mornings local charts (8/2) indicated that high pressure was trying to get a nose into the Northeast Pacific with a thin sliver at 1024 mbs pushing up from north of Hawaii into Vancouver Island. This was generating minimal north winds over the outer waters off North California coast verified at near 30 kts over a tiny fetch off Cape Mendocino. Trades continue flowing southwest into Hawaii. Low pressure at 996 mbs was centered in the northern Gulf of Alaska with some weak 20 kt fetch aimed east towards California and swell generation potential very low. By Thursday (8/4) the low is to be pushing well up into Alaska leaving high pressure unrestricted access to the waters of the Gulf. It's to start building to 1030 mbs by Friday (8/5) with 25 kt north winds blowing over a tiny area of Cape Mendocino continuing into Saturday AM. Varying degrees of 20-25 kt north fetch to expected through mid-next week off North CA and Southern Oregon as high pressure holds in the Gulf. Variable north windswell generally in the small to moderate range continuing, but nothing more since the winds off the Cape are to remain below the 30 kt requisite threshold.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Tuesday (8/2) the jetstream charts continued indicating a near complete split jet across the width of the South Pacific with the only exception being a weak trough off Southern Chile. But broad high pressure was centered in the upper atmosphere between the two branches centered east of New Zealand. A ridge in the southern branch was pushing over the Ross Ice Shelf into Antarctica directing any storm energy migrating under New Zealand south over Antarctica. The northern branch of the jetstream containing all the energy with winds 150 kts tracking zonally generally due east positioned south of Tahiti tracking into Chile (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the southern branch is to lift a little more to the north through Thursday (8/4), but then a strong new ridge is to sweep east driving it back over the Ross Ice Shelf and choking off the storm corridor under New Zealand by Friday (8/5). A bit of a trough appears set to precede the ridge in the east, providing a little hope.
At the surface strong high high pressure had redeveloped east of New Zealand at 1032 mbs, ridging south to almost the Ross Ice Shelf and nearly closing the storm corridor there. A 956 mb low developed in the far Southeastern Pacific well southwest of Chile on Sunday (7/31) and eventually strengthened with 40 kt winds blowing on Monday (8/1) centered near 58S 117-125W. 29 ft seas were modeled at 58S 120-115W for 12 hours starting late that night, providing some potential for small utility class swell mainly for Southern CA from 180 degrees or less. But by Tuesday AM that fetch was fading fast as were it's associated seas. No other swell sources were indicated (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to continue holding control of the area east of New Zealand, though not quite as dominate as in days past. Two weak lows are to spin up southeast and west of Tahiti, but the models now suggest that neither is to have any lasting winds of consequence aimed at any US landmass. No swell generation potential expected for maybe New Zealand since all fetch is to be limited to these lows south quadrants (aimed west).
More model data here
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Tuesdays upper level models (8/2) indicate that beyond 72 hours a reasonable trough is to continue developing a pushing off the Kamchatka Peninsula with winds up to 130 kts on Saturday (8/6) while a large ridge builds over the Gulf of Alaska pushing well north into Alaska. The trough is to persist in the West Pacific tracking east to the dateline by Tuesday of next week cutting into the big ridge in the Gulf and starting to break it down. Winds still 120 kts in the trough. Though no storm development is expected from this trough, it looks rather solid given the time of year.
At the surface high pressure at 1028 mbs is to remain centered in the Northeast Pacific in the Gulf of Alaska draping north of Hawaii and fading near the dateline. Varying degrees of north winds to continue off Cape Mendocino CA producing limited windswell for North and Central CA. The tradewind easterly fetch over the Hawaiian Islands is expected to slowly move west and subside through early next week, with the windswell that has been so dominant these past weeks finally coming to an end (assuming the models are right).
On Thursday (7/27) the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) dropped to -14 and has held in that range steadily through today (Tuesday 8/2). A negative SOI is conducive to the development of El Nino. One would want to see a corresponding reversal of tradewinds over the Pacific equator, but they remained about neutral. Forecast models suggest this is just the first leading edge of the active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), a cyclic weather pattern that helps to jump start El Nino. Though it is too late in the year for a full blown El Nino to start forming, a series of active MJO's can help to improve the chances for winter storms and are a catalyst for development of strong tropical systems in the West Pacific (look for them to turn extratropical and curve northeast in the fall). Reversed trades winds and a negative SOI are expected to develop in the West Pacific and continue through nearly the end of August. There's also suggestions that this latest active phase of the MJO is responsible for the heavy rains and flooding last week in India.
Tuesdays upper level models (8/2) indicated that beyond 72 hours no big changes are forecast with high pressure and a big ridge diving over the Ross Ice Shelf and dominating the Southwest Pacific, cutting off the storm corridor. In the east hope builds some as a trough is to develop near 120W on Sunday (8/7) continuing into mid-next week allowing the two branches of the jet to consolidate there. 160 kt winds are to be blowing through the peak of the trough adding some fuel and increasing the potential for storm development west of Chile. This is the only area of hope for the South Pacific.
At the surface high pressure to continue building to near 1036 mbs east of New Zealand covering a solid area with isobars pushing south to the Ross Ice Shelf by Saturday evening (8/6). The Southeast Pacific is to remain untouched though with a 968 mb low developing there on Monday (8/8). 35-40 kt south winds to be developing as the big New Zealand high interacts with this low nearby to it's east. 29 ft seas forecast by the evening holding for near 24 hours then fading. By all normal standards this system would not even be worth mentioning, but seeing how it's the only thing going and it's to have some semblance of fetch aimed from just east of Tahiti up to California, we'll note it. Hawaii to be out of the swell window through. Will monitor. No signs of life anywhere else.
Details to follow...
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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
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table