On Thursday (9/13) Northern CA surf was thigh high and clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was thigh high too. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was thigh high. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were maybe waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was pushing chest high early and still coming up. The East Shore had northeast windswell near chest high.
North/Central California continued to be in the dead zone with no swell at all. Southern California was essentially flat with no rideable swell in the water. Hawaii was getting a good taste of the new New Zealand swell on the South Shore. And northeast windswell was showing with a bit more period than usual East Shore. The North Shore was asleep with no swell of interest hitting or in the water. The biggest point of interest is southern hemi swell coming from under New Zealand. It is currently building in Hawaii and on it's way to the California coast for Saturday and beyond. Another gale organized behind it, but smaller. And yet another is fading in the South Pacific but pushing more to the north, providing yet equal odds for more small to moderate swell for both Hawaii and California. Up in the North Pacific not much is going on. The models keep showing something of interest, but then when we get close to the date when it's supposed to form, it either disappears or is much weaker than forecast. So for now the North Pacific is still effectively asleep, but trying to wake up. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (9/13) for the North Pacific indicated a moderate flow pushing west to east under the Aleutians with a small pocket of winds energy to 140 kts over the dateline, then ridging northward through the Gulf of Alaska. No real trough of interest was associated with this wind pocket though, minimizing the odds for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours the dateline energy is to dissipate and move east, but the whole of the jet is to now be flowing further south along the 45N latitude. A new pocket of energy to be pushing off the Kuril's on Sunday (9/16) maybe providing some hope longer term. But for now no support for surface level low pressure development suggested. Beyond 72 hours a new trough is to try and set up over the dateline just south of the Aleutians mid-next week, but a a big ridge is to build east of it in the Gulf Wednesday (9/19) pretty much stealing all the troughs energy. No real support for surface level low pressure indicated. But more energy is to be pushing off the Kuril's later next week, so there's a little hope.
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 weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was trying to control of the Eastern Gulf of Alaska ridging into Northern Canada. But the extratropical remants of tropical Storm Danas were pushing east of the dateline bound for the Gulf. Pressure was only 1000 mbs and winds 25 kts, not providing any obvious hope. Another even weaker low was right behind it on the dateline following close behind, but again, no hope inidcated. No other areas of interst were in-flight either. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (9/16) the remnants of Danas to make a beeline northeast and push into northern Canada with no fetch of interest resulting. A new low to push off the Kuril Islands heading for the interesctio of the dateline and the Aleutians, but not doing anything just yet. So for now a rather calm pattern to previal.
Tropical Storm Nari was located 550 nmiles south of the southern-most tip of Japan with sustained winds 55 kts tracking northwest. Slow strengthening and a turn to the north is expected over the weekend with the storm reaching minimal hurricane force. It to push through the Sea of Japan and then turn northeast and accelerating, heading east off Central Japan on Tuesday (9/18), getting picked up by the jetstream. Maybe this one has some hopes for extratropical development over the dateline later next week, but that's pure conjecture at this point.
No other systems were being monitored.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (9/13) weak high pressure at 1018 mbs was off Pt Conception generating a fetch of 15-20 kt north winds just beyond the Channel Islands making some chop there, but nothing more. Otherwise rather light winds were occurring over the rest of North and Central CA. No change is forecast through Saturday with only some of the Point Conception fetch area occasionally pushing into Southern CA making for bumpy conditions there. Then new high pressure at 1028 mbs to becoming more consolidated north of Hawaii over the weekend and start pushing east. It to linger off the coast making for 15 kts north winds over outer waters, but having no windswell production potential until it starts making real contact with the California coast late Tuesday (9/18). At that time it's to set up a new pressure gradient off Cape Mendocino with north winds building there to 30 kts by Wednesday growing in areal coverage into Thursday (9/20). Fetch to be impacting the Central Coast Wednesday making for a choppy mess (but Southern CA to be shadowed from these winds), but that to pull offshore by Thursday with solid windswell likely and much improving local wind conditions.
Thursdays jetstream charts (9/13) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow in the Southwest Pacific with a trough pushing well north towards Tahiti in the southern branch, but winds were only 110 kts. Limited support for surface level low pressure development suggested. A strong ridge was pushing hard to the south over the Southeast Pacific with both branches joining forces there eliminating any support for surface level gale development. Over the next 72 hours no big change is forecast other than a new pocket of 140 kts winds rippling through the southern branch under New Zealand Saturday (9/15) providing a little support for surface level low pressure development and pushing the whole trough to the east. A big ridge to hold in the Southeast Pacific pushing hard into Antarctica and shutting down any hope there, but it too to be moving east, into Chile. Beyond 72 hours the trough in continue moving east and weakening and loosing amplitude effectively getting closer to the edge of Antarctic Ice and loosing any ability to influence surface level storm development. A weak pattern to be in-play by the end of next week (9/21).
At the oceans surface today the fading remnants of a gale were south of Tahiti while strong high pressure at 1040 mbs was in control of the Southeastern Pacific. Over the next 72 hours a new gale is to start building under New Zealand Friday morning (9/14) with pressure 960 ms and winds to near 40 kts. This to be the only event of interest for the next several days. By evening it to have a broad area of 40-45 kt winds aimed to the east-northeast at 55S 165W aimed 25 degrees east of the 201 degree path to California (unshadowed from Tahiti) and 45 degrees east of the 184 degree path to Hawaii. Seas building to 30 ft at 55S 168W. Saturday AM (9/15) winds to build to 45 kts solid over a broad area centered at 51S 150W aimed like before or aimed 25 degrees east of the 197 degree path to California and outside the Hawaiian swell window. 37 ft seas are forecast at 54S 155W. In the evening 40-45 kts winds to hold at 49S 138w aimed well northeast or 30 degrees east of the 192 degree path to California with stronger fetch moving in from the west at 45 kts. Seas building to 39 ft at 52S 142W. The two fetch areas to merge Sunday AM (9/16) with 50-55 kts fetch set up at 52S 135W but aimed due east or 60 degrees east of the 189 degree path tot California. Seas holding at 39 ft at 52S 140W. In the evening 60 kts fetch is forecast at 53S 120W aimed 45 degrees east of the 180 degree path to CA, then out of the swell window. 45 ft seas are modeled at 51S 125W moving out of the CA swell window in 6 hrs.
If this system develops as forecast some decent (read - possible significant class summer-time swell) long period southern hemi swell seems likely focused mainly on California and even moreso on Central America down into Peru and Chile. Hawaii to be mostly out of the swell window though, only getting a fragment of this systems potential. Will monitor.
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 ft faces - 4 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 ft faces - 4 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.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival starting Saturday (9/15) near 6 AM with period 20 secs and size barely noticeable. Swell getting rideable by Sunday (9/16) at 6 AM as period moves to 17 secs. Swell peaking late morning at 2.7 ft @ 17 secs (4.0-4.5 ft faces - best breaks to 5.5 ft). Swell fading from 2.7 ft @ 15 secs Monday AM (4 ft faces) with period dropping to 14 secs by sunset. Swell Direction: 183-196 degrees
South CA: Expect swell arrival starting Monday (9/17) before sunrise with period 20 secs and size not even noticeable. Size building through the day. Swell to start becoming rideable Tuesday AM (9/18) with period dropping to 17 secs about noon. Swell 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft) then. Swell holding in the 2.3 ft @ 15 sec range (3.5 ft faces) Wednesday (9/19). Swell dropping from 2.2 ft @ 14 secs (3 ft faces) at noon Thurs (9/20). Swell Direction: 203-211 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival starting Monday (9/17) just before sunrise with period 20 secs and size not even noticeable. Size building through the day. Swell to start becoming rideable Tuesday mid-morning (9/18) with period dropping to 17 secs about 3 PM. Swell 2.3 ft @ 17 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces - best breaks to near 5 ft) then. Swell holding in the 2.3 ft @ 15-16 sec range (3.5-4.0 ft faces) Wednesday (9/19). Swell dropping from 2.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (3 ft faces) Thurs (9/20) with period down to 14 secs by 6 PM. Swell Direction: 203-211 degrees
Another New Zealand Gale
On Tuesday AM (9/11) a small 968 mb gale was starting to develop south of New Zealand with winds confirmed at 40-45 kts at 60S 172E with fetch aimed northeast or right up the 211 degree great circle path to California and 20 degrees east of the 193 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were building. In the evening winds were confirmed at 40-45 kts at 55S 175E aimed northeast, or right up the 208 degree path to California but shadowed by Tahiti and 30 degrees east of the 189 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled building to 32 ft at 56S 177W. the Jason-1 satellite passed over the outer edge of the fetch and indicated seas 26 ft, 2 feet less than what was modeled.
On Wednesday AM (9/12) winds held at 40-45 kts and expanded slightly in coverage at 50S 162W aimed just east of due north. These winds were aimed right up the 204 degree path to California (but still shadowed by Tahiti) and 25 degrees east of the 182 degree path to Hawaii. Seas were modeled at 32 ft at 51S 165W. In the evening winds held at 40-45 kts at 50S 150W aimed more to the northeast now or 10 degrees east of the 200 degree path to California and unshadowed by Tahiti and 35 degrees east of the 175 degree path to Hawaii. Sea were fading at 30 ft @ 48S 157W. the Jason-1 satellite passed right over the fetch and indicated seas at 29 ft or within 1 ft of the Wavewatch3 model. Not too bad. But a second pass 6 hrs later put seas 2 ft less than what the models suggested.
On Thursday AM (9/13) the last little bit of wind energy was confirmed at 40 kts aimed more north again at 48S 145W. They were aimed 10 degrees east of the 195 degree great circle path to California but well outside the Hawaiian swell window. Seas were fading from 30 ft at 47S 149W. By evening this system to be gone with seas falling below 30 ft.
This gale was not a particularly strong one, but held together a little longer than ones before it and of far more interest, it was actually tracking more northeast (versus east) pushing more swell energy towards our forecast area. Seas were pretty moderate though in the 32 ft range and even that might be a 1 or so more than actually based on data from the Jason-1 satellite. Given it's relative close proximity to the Hawaiian Islands and more northerly course, solid utility class plus swell could radiate towards the Islands arriving late Tuesday (9/18) at 2 ft @ 18 secs (3.5 ft faces). California still has the issue with the Tahitian swell shadow chopping a good 25% of the swell size while in the shadow, and the long travel distance and moderate sea heights. But the gale moved east of the shadow providing a little hope late in it's life. Suspect more of the same though, with utility class swell 9 days out for CA. Will monitor.
South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Beyond 72 hours low pressure to continue developing just west of the dateline and barely south of the Aleutians late Sunday with pressure 976 mbs and winds 45 kts aimed towards Hawaii. This one to wrap up more early Monday AM (9/17) with pressure dropping to 968 mbs and winds building to 45-50 kts swinging solidly into the storms southwest to south quadrants aimed from Hawaii east towards California and the Pacific Northwest. Seas building to 30 ft over a tiny area at 47N 177E. But by nightfall the low to be lifting north into the Bering Sea with all fetch becoming obscured behind the Aleutians, shutting down any swell generation potential. Seas to 32 ft over a tiny area are forecast at 49N 175W Monday evening, good for some possible utility class swell pushing mainly east if all this occurs, which seems optimistic. But the main issue is this one is to only get very limited traction on the oceans surface and acting on a near calm seas before pushing north of the Aleutians. At least it's something to watch for.
Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a calm pattern taking over with much of the energy from the atmosphere likely been sapped out by the last in the series of storms (above). No swell production of interest forecast.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table