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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: September 9, 2007 6:02 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 = 3.2 - California & 2.0 - 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 9/3 thru Sun 9/9
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   

Small Southern Hemi Swell Coming
North Pacific Just Not There Yet

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Sunday (9/9) Northern CA surf was chest high with some bigger sections and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist high and ultra clean. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high with luck. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was thigh high with luck.

North/Central California was getting the last drops of what was a really decent bit of local windswell. Southern California was getting a very tiny mix of of fading southern hemi swell and local windswell. Hawaii was getting the last little drops of small windswell on the North Shore. The South Shore was effectively flat with no swell in the water. Easterly windswell was in the same state on the East Shore. No southern hemi swell or windswell is forecast for the next few days for either Hawaii or California. But a solid gale formed under New Zealand mid-last week and has generated enough seas to set another swell in motion and pushing towards our forecast area. That swell swell should arrive in Hawaii near Thursday and push on into California for Saturday and beyond. Another gale is trying to organize right now southeast of New Zealand, but isn't going to make the grade. Three more are on the charts for later this week, but doubt they will develop anywhere near the moderate strength projected. Up in the North Pacific a gale is trying to organize over thee dateline, but most all it's energy to be landlocked in the Bering Sea. Another is forecast in the Gulf of Alaska next weekend, but it's a joke to believe that will happen at this early date. No windswell for either California or Hawaii is in the picture either. So it's southern hemi swell or bust for now. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream charts (9/9) for the North Pacific indicated a moderate flow pushing off Kamchatka over the Aleutian Islands, taking a steep dip south on the dateline, an veering back north just a fast then pushing well north up into Alaska. Winds were 120 kts over the length of the jet. Only the steep trough over the dateline was of interest, and then only marginally so. Limited support for surface level low pressure there. Over the next 72 hours the dateline trough to fade fast late Sunday but a new more energetic trough to try and develop behind it Monday. Winds to 160 kts to be pushing southeast of the Aleutians moving to the dateline Tuesday, but the core of the trough to be up in the Bering Sea. Limited support for surface level low pressure in the North Pacific, then fading up to the north Wednesday. Beyond 72 hours the jet to start moving further south with a weaker trough modeled for the Gulf on Friday aa well defined trough is to building over the dateline starting Friday but with winds only 110 kts. After that the jet to hold but signs of a split pattern are already starting to show over the dateline by the weekend, eerily reminiscent of last winter. The southern branch to be pushing into Central CA though, likely making for a little more weather there than what's been occurring for the past few months.

Note: We've made a major upgrade to our jetstream forecast models. They now includes topographic landmasses with the jet flowing over it. As before, wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. Take a look here:( NPac, SPac )

At the surface today high pressure at 1032 mbs was positioned in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska riding into Central Canada and locking down the Eastern Pacific. A broad area of 20 kts fetch was off the Pacific Northwest generating decreasing windswell aimed more at Hawaii than California, but likely too far away to make any windswell of interest. Otherwise low pressure at 984 mbs was in the Western Bering Sea generating 30 kts winds, but mostly landlocked there north of the Aleutians. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (9/12) the Bering Sea gale to move due east with 30 kts fetch blowing over the western Aleutians Monday and barely getting a foothold on exposed waters south of there, fading out Tuesday. Seas to maybe 18 ft with next to no odds of even windswell resulting for our forecast area. The core of the gale to remain landlocked in the Bering Sea, fading out there by Wednesday. No other swell producing fetch indicated.

On Thursday and Friday (9/7) a low pressure system in the Western Bering Sea generated a small fetch of 30 kt winds near 45N 175E just west of the dateline aimed southeast well down the 328 degree great circle path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 15 ft. Maybe a small pulse of windswell to arrive on the North Shore of Oahu Tuesday afternoon (9/11) at 2.4 ft @ 11-12 secs (2.5 ft faces) pushing to 2.6 ft @ 11 secs Wednesday (2.5-3.0 ft faces). Swell Direction 328 degrees.

 

Tropics
Tropical Storm Danas was 400 nmiles east of Tokyo Japan with winds 50 kts traveling north. A turn to the northeast and an accelerated forward speed is forecast with the storm fading below tropical depression status by Tuesday (9/11). No swell generation potential indicated.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (9/9) high pressure at 1030 mbs was off British Columbia generating 20 kt north winds off the Pacific Northwest and fading windswell for California. But calm local winds were controlling the California coast. The high off the Pacific Northwest is to fade completely by late Monday while weak high pressure tries to build just off Southern CA resulting in a modest flow of northwesterly winds from Pt Conception southward but mostly shadowed from the Southern Ca coast by the Channel Islands. That pattern to hold for the next week with no change forecast. In short, calm local winds north of Pt Conception and breezy down south.

 

South Pacific

Overview
Sundays jetstream charts (9/9) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow well entrench across the South Pacific with just a slight hint of a weak trough in place over the Southwestern Pacific running just barely north of the Ross Ice Shelf. No winds of interest were occurring and the flow was flat west-to-east. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast other than one little pocket of 120 kts winds rippling through the southern branch under New Zealand late Tuesday (9/11) providing a little support for surface level low pressure development. A big ridge to be building in the Southeast Pacific by Wednesday pushing hard into Antarctica and shutting down any hope there. Beyond 72 hours the trough in the southwest to hold with the ridge building in the southeast. Small pockets of energy to push through the trough adding fleeting bits of support for low pressure development, but nothing really strong indicated.

At the oceans surface today a general west to east flow from under New Zealand was running at 25-30 kts with 2 pockets to 40 kts aimed due east. The only one of interest originated under New Zealand late Friday (9/7) generating 40-45 kt fetch east through Saturday and producing 33-36 ft seas (see details below - Second New Zealand Gale). Over the next 72 hours another gale is forecast under New Zealand starting Tuesday AM (9/11) with 40-45 kts winds blowing almost northeast at 57S 175E. 29 ft seas forecast there. It to push a bit more to the northeast in the evening with winds up to 45 kts at 55S 175W and seas 35 ft. It's last gasp to occur Wednesday AM at 50S 160W with 40 kts winds and 35 ft seas at 50S 165W. This to all be in the 205-207 degree path relative to California and totally shadowed by Tahiti and the 184-188 degree track to Hawaii, with fetch aimed reasonably well to both locales. More possible utility class swell possible with some luck.

 

New Zealand Storm
On Wednesday AM (9/5) a 968 mb low started to build under New Zealand producing a tiny area of 45 kt winds at 60S 160E just barely off the northern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. Actually the QuikSCAT satellite confirmed winds at 50 kts solid late morning. Winds were aimed due east or 45 degrees east of the 201 degree great circle path to Hawaii and 20 degrees east of the 213 degree path to California. Seas modeled at 29 ft at 60S 155E. In the evening winds were supposedly on the upswing fast reaching 50-55 kts at 59S 175E again aimed almost due east. but the QuikSCAT satellite reported winds of only 50 kts. These winds were aimed 50 degrees east of the 195 degree path to Hawaii and 20 degrees east of the 208 degree path to California and becoming shadowed by Tahiti. Seas modeled at 33 ft at 60S 175E. No Jason-1 satellite passes came near the fetch.

On Thursday AM (9/6) storm pressure was 956 mbs with winds fading from 50 kts at 57S 175W aimed more to the northeast or 55 degrees east of the 188 degree path to Hawaii and 30 degrees east of the 206 degree path to California but shadowed by Tahiti. Seas were building at 37 ft at 57S 177W. In the evening 45 kt residual fetch was confirmed 55S 160W aimed northeast and aimed over 70 degrees east of the 181 degree path to Hawaii and 25 degrees east of the 200 degree path to California. Seas fading from 36 ft at 56S 163W. The Jason-1 satellite made 2 passes within 6 hours of each other over the outer edges of this systems and confirmed seas there were at or one foot short of what was modeled by the Wavewatch III wavemodel. So this builds some confidence the core of the storm was on-track as well.

By Friday AM (9/7) all fetch was gone and seas fading from 30 ft at 54S 153W, attributable all to previous days fetch.

This was a rather short storm of moderate strength. All fetch relative to Hawaii was aimed well east of any great circle track there, limiting the amount of energy pushing north. And California, though well in the main swell vector, had Tahiti sitting right in the middle of the swell's path, shearing some size and consistency off of whatever swell is generated. But, after Thursday morning the seas moved into an unshadowed position, increasing hopes that a small amount of full energy will sneak in. In all it should be fun sized, but nothing more (utility class, not significant class).

Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting near sunset Wednesday (9/12) with period 20 secs and size tiny if even noticeable. Swell building overnight. Period in the 18 secs range Thursday AM (9/13) with swell rideable at sunrise and building, peaking near 5 PM at 2.8 ft @ 17 secs (4.5 ft faces - best breaks to 6 ft). Decent size to be holding sunrise Friday (9/14) with swell 2.8 ft @ 15 secs (4 ft faces with best breaks to 5 ft), but settling down as the day progresses. Period dropping to 14 secs by sunrise Saturday (9/15) with swell 2.6 ft @ 14 secs and fading (3.5 ft faces - 4.5 ft best breaks). Swell Direction: 183-193 degrees

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (9/14) at 1 PM with period 20 secs and size tiny and very inconsistent. Probably not even noticeable. Swell building slowly through the evening. Swell period to 18 secs early Saturday with size coming up to the 2 ft range (3.5 ft faces - 4.5 ft best breaks). Swell peaking near 11 PM Saturday (9/15) at 2.6 ft @ 17 secs with rare sets to near 3 ft (4.5-5.0 ft faces - 6 ft best breaks). Decent energy to continue Sunday (9/16) with swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 15-16 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best breaks 5 ft). Residual energy to continue Monday (9/17) with swell 2.6 ft @ 14-15 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces) and fading. Period down to 14 secs near 11 PM and fading out. Swell Direction: 203-209 degrees

Northern CA: Expect swell arrival starting Friday (9/14) at 5 PM with period 20 secs and size tiny and very inconsistent, not even noticeable. Swell building slowly through the evening. Swell period to 18 secs mid Saturday (9/15) with size coming up to the 2+ ft range (3.5 ft faces - 4.5 ft best breaks). Swell peaking near 3 AM Sunday (9/16) at 2.6 ft @ 17 secs with rare sets to near 3 ft (4.5-5.0 ft faces - 6 ft best breaks). Decent energy to continue through the day with swell 2.6-2.8 ft @ 16-17 secs (4.5 ft faces - best breaks 5.5 ft). Residual energy to continue Monday (9/17) with swell 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces) and fading later in the day. Period down to 14 secs first light Tuesday (9/18) and fading out. Swell Direction: 201-210 degrees

 

Second Small New Zealand Gale
A small gale originated under New Zealand late Friday (9/7) in association with a 972 mbs low there, generating 40 kts fetch aimed northeast at 60S 160E aimed towards Hawaii and California reasonably well. It pushed east Saturday AM increasing in size some with winds still 40-45 kts at 57S 180W. Seas were up to 29 ft at 57S 170E. Winds built to 45-50 kts late Saturday at 56S 170W aimed due east or 35 degrees east of the 204 degree path to California and almost unshadowed by Tahiti and 70 degrees east of the 187 degree path to Hawaii. 35 ft seas were modeled at 57S 175W. The Jason-1 satellite made two passes directly over this fetch late Saturday reporting seas 35-37 ft solid peak singular readings to 40-41 ft. So this one is exactly as the WW3 model predicts. The fetch totally collapsed Sunday AM (9/9) though residual seas from previous day fetch peaked at 36 ft at 57S 162W. Small utility class swell likely for both Hawaii and California 7 and 9 days out respectively.

 

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 remnants of Tropical Storm Danas as modeled to travel east across the width of the North Pacific and start organizing in the Gulf of Alaska on Friday (9/14) with pressure dropping to 980 mbs and winds to 45 kts late aimed well at California down the 309 degree great circle path, then lifting north moving over Alaska mid-Saturday. Seas building to 21 ft at 50N 150W. Odds very low this will happen but it's something to watch.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models suggest two more gales are to form more to the southeast of New Zealand and tracking due east limiting the swell energy pushing north from them. Still , there some hope assuming they develop.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

Tom Jones California Paddle: California Paddle 2007 is a world record-breaking expedition by Tom Jones, an extreme endurance athlete and environmental activist. Tom will become the first person in history to paddle the entire 1250-mile coast of California on nothing more than a 14-ft. paddleboard. Tom is drawing world-wide attention to the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. A recent study has found that there is six times more plastic in the ocean than plankton off the coast of California. See more here: http://www.californiapaddle.com/

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com

Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit www.thesurfbook.com. Submit online at www.casagrandepress.com

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/

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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