On Thursday (8/4) Northern CA surf was waist high. South facing breaks were up to waist high. Central California surf was maybe up to waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were not even waist high. The LA area southward into Orange County was up to waist high and maybe even a little more at the best breaks. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
Still the southern hemi continues non-productive, though a small fetch earlier in the week produced some seas in the Southeast Pacific pushing towards Southern California. The operative word is small though. A decent storm was was on the charts for early next week, but has since been repositioned mostly east of even the Southern CA swell window. Another low is to follow in the deep South Pacific, but again right on the edge of the California swell window and totally outside of any path leading to Hawaii. The drought continues. 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 Thursday (8/4) a very weak weak trough was in the northeastern Gulf of Alaska and fading fast. A ridge was over the dateline with another slightly stronger trough trying to build over Siberia and the Kuril Islands. None had any storm generation potential as would be expected for the time of year (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a cutoff upper low is to form in the Gulf of Alaska with a large ridge north of it while the dominant trough over Siberia pushes off the coast into the Northwestern Pacific with winds 110 kts. Still nothing indicative of support for gale of storm formation at the surface.
At the surface today the standard East Pacific high pressure system was in the Southern Gulf of Alaska at 1024 mbs sweeping north of Hawaii then west terminating at the dateline. This high was continuing a steady trade wind flow over the Hawaiian Islands and generating easterly windswell there. The Cape Mendocino gradient was relatively inactive though. A weak 992 mb low was just off Kamchatka heading northeast for the Bering Sea. Typhoon Matsa was passing just northeast of Taiwan with sustained winds 90 kts, expected to make landfall Friday morning and fading (animation here). Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (8/7) the Gulf high pressure system is to drift more north edging into Alaska while the Bering Sea low stalls just to the west of it. Trades to be declining over Hawaii as the high moves north. And the Cape Mendocino CA area is to start picking up some moderate 20-25 kt north winds. Overall a pretty benign pattern with no real swell generation promise for anyone.
More model data here
California Offshore Forecast
Thursday mornings local charts (8/4) indicated that high pressure had again returned to the Gulf of Alaska as expected at 1024 mbs. This was generating minimal north winds over the outer waters off North California coast verified at 20-25 kts off Cape Mendocino. But there was no low pressure inland to really fuel formation of the normal gradient and stronger north winds there. A continued 20-25 kt flow is expected through the weekend, growing in areal coverage on Sunday (8/7) as a little low pressure makes a showing inland. North windswell expected to bump up some commensurate with the increased coverage of the winds. The gradient is to hold through Monday, then fade as high pressure retreats to the southwest. There is suggestion that a pair of tropical systems will develop off Baja next week, but that's pure speculation by the models.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
On Thursday (8/4) the jetstream charts continued indicating a complete split of the jet across the width of the South Pacific with the only exception being a fading trough just off Southern Chile. A broad high pressure center in the upper atmosphere was present between the two branches centered east of New Zealand, no different than in days past. This pattern is now well entrenched and it will take a significant re-alignment of the upper levels for any shift to stick. A new strong ridge in the southern branch was pushing under new Zealand tracking east for the core of the Ross Ice Shelf totally shutting down the storm corridor there. The northern branch of the jetstream containing all the energy with winds now up to 190 kts tracking generally due east with the core positioned south of Tahiti. two small troughs were entrenched in the jet, one northeast of new Zealand and the second south of Tahiti, but neither showed any promise with the southern branch so far away (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the new strong ridge in the southern branch is to sweep east clearing everything out it's it path and continuing the total lockdown of the storm corridor under New Zealand through Saturday (8/6). A bit of a trough appears set to precede it in the east, providing a little hope.
At the surface strong high high pressure remained east of New Zealand at 1032 mbs, through not controlling as much real estate as before. A 996 mb low was under Tahiti to the north of the high with another 968 mb low over the Ross Ice Shelf, putting the squeeze on the high from both the north and the south. Neither of these lows had been in-place long enough to significantly stir the oceans surface though, and neither were they expected to. No swell sources were present (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to continue holding control of the area east of New Zealand, resurging a bit in areal coverage with pressure at 1028 mbs. No swell producing fetch forecast anywhere in the south Pacific through Sunday (8/7).
Southeast Pacific Low
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 (8/2) that fetch was fading fast as were it's associated seas.
More model data here
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Thursdays upper level models (8/4) indicate that beyond 72 hours the Kuril trough is to max out early Monday (8/8). Nothing of any real interest though. Otherwise a huge ridge is forecast to continue in the east with the jet pushing well north of Alaska. A cutoff upper low is to build in the Gulf of Alaska eventually undercutting the ridge by Thursday (8/11) taking up a positioned off the Central California coast. Nothing of any strength but interesting just the same.
At the surface high pressure at 1028 mbs is to remain centered well north in the Gulf of Alaska reducing any potential for windswell in Hawaii initially. The high is to eventually split, with the main center dropping south and west to a point north of Hawaii, with trades on the increase over the Islands by Wednesday (8/10) but fading out to calm along the North California coast. No significant chance expected though the end of next workweek. A small low is forecast developing off Japan tracking slowly east, but nothing of interest indicated.
On Tuesday (7/27) the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) dropped to -14 and has held in that range steadily through today (Thursday 8/4) with a -16 value posted . 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, and the first signs of a breakdown of the trades was evidenced west of the dateline starting Thursday (8/4). 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 momentarily and continue through August 22nd. There's also suggestions that this latest active phase of the MJO is responsible for the heavy rains and flooding last week in India.
Thursdays upper level models (8/4) indicated that beyond 72 hours no big changes are forecast with the existing pattern getting even stronger. Solid high pressure east of New Zealand and a dead flat northern branch of the jet coupled with a strong ridge under New Zealand to continue the total lockdown of the Southwestern Pacific through Wednesday (8/10). In the east the small trough there is to push further east and out of the storm window for anywhere but Chile. A small but steep trough is forecast to move under New Zealand providing a thin glimmer of hope, but another strong ridge appears to be building right behind it clamping down on the storm corridor before anything gets a chance to form in it.
At the surface high pressure to continue building to near 1032 mbs east of New Zealand covering a solid area with isobars pushing south to the Ross Ice Shelf through Tuesday (8/8). No hope here. But the Southeast Pacific is have a window of opportunity with a 972 mb low developing there on Monday (8/8). 40-45 kt south winds to be building aimed north towards California and locations east of there as the big New Zealand high interacts with this low nearby to it's east through Tuesday. These winds will be acting on a rather placid sea surface, taking till mid-day Tuesday to generate the expected 27-29 ft seas, and by then they will be about out of the California swell window. Yet another 952 mb low is to follow directly positioned just off Antarctica in the mid-South Pacific. A core of 45-50 kt winds is forecast by early Wednesday (8/10) tracking northeast for 36 hours aimed at targets from California southeastward. 33 ft seas forecast before the fetch moves out of the swell window. No hope on either count for locations west of 130W.
Details to follow...
Proposed Senate Bill To Restrict Free Weather Data Giving it only to Private Companies for re-sell to the Public. If you view the free info from buoys, wave, wind, and weather modles currently provided on this and other sites, prepare to see it end if this bill gets passed. Please write your State Senator to oppose this bill. California Senators are Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. You can cut and paste the letter template at http://www.boatus.com/gov/sb786.htm into the web forms located at: http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.cfm for Barbara Boxer and http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html for Dianne Feinstein. A few minutes of your time could make a big difference.
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