On Thursday (8/25) Northern CA surf was 3-4 ft and junky. South facing breaks were thigh high. Central California surf was waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were thigh high. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist high. Southward to San Diego waves were maybe thigh high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore was waist high.
The North Shore of Hawaii had some fun swell on Wednesday into the shoulder to head high range, but that has since trickled down to near nothing with nothing else on the charts. A little bit of minor southern hemi swell in the next few days on the South Shore, but really nothing of interest. Windswell is looking plentiful next week mainly for the northern part of California. And longer term some southern hemi swell from Wednesdays storm under New Zealand is working it's way north to both Hawaii and California, rideable but nothing more. Another moderate storm is scheduled for the same area maybe Sunday (8/28) providing some hope for more southern hemi dribbles. But no signs of any obvious real swell on the charts anywhere. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (8/25) at the jetstream level a pretty dominant ridge was positioned due north of HAwaii driving the flow over the Aleutian Islands. A small trough was trying to build to the east off Northern Canada and another well to the west off the Kuril Islands. The western one had the best chance for surface level storm support (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the a trough off the Kuril's is get pinched off while lifting northeast to the dateline. At the same time the trough in the east is to deepen and sag along the Pacific Northwest with winds to near 120 kts flowing under it. This looks like it should support some surface level low pressure.
At the surface on Thursday a weak but broad high pressure pool was centered just east of the dateline at 1024 mbs. No less than 4 lows of tropical origin were in-flight tracking either up the west side of the high to the Bering Sea or in the Bering Sea getting ready to track south down the east side of the high along the Canadian coast. None had any swell generating fetch aimed at Hawaii or California through there was some decent winds at times, but overall the pattern was favorable and continued to show signs of life for the North Pacific (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the first of the 4 lows is to drop from the Bering Sea into the Gulf of Alaska (starting Friday) with winds 25-30+ kts with 15 ft seas developing in it's south quadrant aimed at the US west coast. This low to continue on an east-southeast track through the period with good potential to generate some degree of windswell for the US West Coast.
More model data here
Tropical Depression Hilary: On Thursday AM (8/25) the final official statement was issued on Hilary with winds 30 kts and fading tracking west. Minimal swell from Hilary was moving into Southern California with swell about 1-2 ft @ 10-11 secs. In all this was not a swell producing storm, with even less size arriving than the minimal estimates we projected.
Tropical Depression 9E formed on Thursday AM (8/25) just south of Manzanillo Mexico tracking west with winds 30 kts. A westward track is expected to continue with little strengthening forecast. No swell generation potential suggested.
California Offshore Forecast
Thursday mornings local charts (8/25) indicate that weak high pressure was centered just off the coast at 1018 mbs and no gradient was present. A rather placid pattern was in-place with no change forecast through Saturday (8/27). Low pressure is to drop into the Gulf of Alaska (see above) and a surge in high pressure north of Hawaii ridging to California on Sunday (8/28) is to start generating some gradient north winds along the California coast. This pattern is to only build through early next week with a solid fetch of 30-35 kt north winds expected just off Cape Mendocino by Tuesday (8/30) holding into early Thursday (9/1) with solid but junky windswell expected to result, with somewhat longer period windswell from the Gulf arriving underneath. In all this isn't too bad considering flatness is the only other option.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
Thursdays (8/25) jetstream charts remain basically unchanged from days and weeks previous. A big ridge continued pushing southeast of New Zealand into Antarctica proper, totally shutting off the storm corridor there. The northern branch of the jet was flowing zonally (flat) west to east and was not of interest. A trough remained southwest and south of New Zealand with 120 kts winds indicated at it's apex, but rather close to Antarctic Ice. This was the only interesting feature in the South Pacific and the only hope for surface level storm support (animation here). Over the next 72 hours this trough is to get shut down by a new ridge pushing into the area from the west with winds at 130 kts pushing the entire flow a bit more to the south. Little support for surface level storm development suggested with the flow mostly all over Antarctic ice.
At the surface today strong high pressure at 1032 mbs was east of New Zealand ridging southeast to almost the Ross Ice Shelf and keeping a lock on the storm corridor there. No swell producing fetch indicated anywhere in the South Pacific (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the pattern is to remain weak. A small area under New Zealand is to fire up on Friday (8/26) producing a fleeting bit of 45 kt winds and maybe seas to 30 ft aimed a bit east of Hawaii and California for 24 hours then fading out. Another similar spurt is expected Saturday into Sunday (8/28) providing maybe 36 hours of fetch and 35 ft seas, then fading out. Both of these are capable of producing some utility class swell (see QuikCAST's for details). No other swell producing fetch suggested.
More model data here
New Zealand Utility Class Storm
On Tuesday PM (8/23) a 952 mb storm developed south of New Zealand with winds initially confirmed at 50-55 kts over a tiny area centered at 56S 162E aimed northeast towards both Hawaii and the US West Coast. Seas were building. On Wednesday AM (8/24) winds dropped to the 40-50 kts range over the same tiny area aimed almost due north, well at Hawaii. Sea building to 36 ft centered at 56S 165E. But by the evening that fetch faded to near zero and turned it's force more to the east. Seas faded to 30 ft centered at 55S 175E and were fading fast. This system was gone by Thursday AM.The swell has a long way to travel, was generated by a tiny fetch that was short lived. Limited utility class swell possible for Hawaii and California, with Hawaii likely doing best due to it's closer proximity, but certainly nothing much. See QuikCAST's for details.
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Thursdays (8/25) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the trough off the Pacific Northwest is to push into Washington state on Monday (8/29) with a generalized ridge holding and broadening north of Hawaii. Then the whole pattern starts up anew with a trough developing in the West Pacific and another one developing in the Northern Gulf sinking south. Not a bad pattern overall.
Beyond 72 hours at the surface the second in the series of low is to drop into the Gulf on late Tuesday (8/30) though not quite as strong as the first. Some degree of fetch is to be aimed at the US West Coast and to and including Vancouver Island. Two more lows are to be pushing north along the west flank of the dateline high headed for the Bering Sea as well and presumably on the same general track.
Thursdays upper level models (8/25) indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is to drop even further south flowing entirely over Antarctic Ice. On Thursday (9/1) a trough is to try and get established in the deep South PAcific mid-way between Chile and New Zealand, but it is to be very weak. No support for surface level storm development suggested.
Another storm is to follow under New Zealand early next week but it's to be totally over Antarctic Ice through it's life. No other swell producing systems forecast.
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