On Thursday (9/22) Northern CA surf was chest high and weak. South facing breaks were waist high with chest high sets. Central California surf was waist high with some bigger sets. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist to chest high at the better breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was chest to head high with sets 1 ft overhead. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with some bigger sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was about waist high but bigger at the standout spots. The East Shore was shoulder to head high, a combination of easterly windswell and energy from Jova.
A real mixed bag of generally lackluster swell even though there was some size, with all location having something to ride if you're at the right breaks at the right time. Windswell in North California, Southern hemi swell in South California, and tropical swell from Jova starting to show in Hawaii. Much of the same expected in the coming days with increased northerly windswell in North California, A slight upward bump in southern hemi energy both North and South, and increased energy from Jova along Hawaii's northeastern shores. Further out the South Pacific to remain generally dormant with maybe a storm developing under New Zealand next Wednesday (9/28). In the North Pacific a gale is forecast over the dateline this weekend pushing into the North Gulf of Alaska providing a little hope, and a much stronger system forecast for the dateline a week out. We'll see what actually forms but overall surf expected for the weekend, fading next week then possibly coming up after that. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Thursday (9/22) at the jetstream level not alot had changed, with a basic flat flow in effect tracking from west to east just south of the Aleutian Islands. A upper low was in the Bering Sea with a bit of a ridge in the Gulf of Alaska, but there was no support for surface level storm development. Winds were moving at a good speed, with pockets at 140 kts (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the Bering Sea upper low is to track east into Alaska with no impact to the Pacific while a new trough pushes off the Kuril Islands pushing the jet a bit further south there opening up a pocket for something to develop in off Kamchatka. A cutoff low is forecast north of Hawaii and anther off San Francisco.
At the surface on Tuesday high pressure at 1032 mbs continued controlling the North Pacific with the main core in the Gulf of Alaska at 1032 mbs with a second core off the Kuril Islands at 1024 mbs. The triple threat of Kenneth, Max and Jova has faded between Hawaii and Mexico (details in the 'Tropics' section). Otherwise a moderate north windflow continued off Cape Mendocino at 25 kts generating windswell there. Also a 972 mb storm was in the Bering Sea dragging some 30 kt westerly winds over the dateline south of the Aleutians, but that is to last only another 12-18 hours then fade with no swell generation potential (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to surge in the Gulf of Alaska in concert with low pressure inland over California, generating brisk north winds off Cape Mendocino at near 30 kts into Saturday morning (9/24) generating north windswell for the north half of California. Of far more interest is the development of a low expected over the Kuril Islands (West Siberia) on Saturday (9/25) tracking east and building to 988 mbs on Sunday (9/25) as it moves over the dateline with a moderate fetch of 35 kt winds forecast aimed at Hawaii and the US west coast. The low is to push into the Bering Sea tracking northeast on Monday (9/26) with continued 35 kts fetch taking aimed solely on the US West Coast but decreasing in size as it moves slowly north of the Aleutians and dissipating by Tuesday (9/27). 18 ft seas forecast through it's life. Some decent chance for some form of windswell for Hawaii and California and the Pacific Northwest if this plays out as forecast.
More model data here
California Offshore Forecast
Thursday mornings local charts (9/22) indicated high pressure continued at 1034 mbs in the Gulf of Alaska ridging east and generating north winds off Cape Mendocino at 25-30 kts. This to strengthen on Friday as low pressure builds inland tightening up the gradient off the Cape more. The result is to be increased north winds over the Cape at 30-35 kts continuing through Saturday morning and increasing windswell to 9 ft @ 9 secs (6-7 ft faces North CA). Local winds to be light though. The gradient to fade some late Sunday and in the days beyond as the high gets pushed south and fades while a winter like low builds in the Western Gulf mid-next week.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
(updated Thursday AM 9/22)
Tropical Storm Kenneth was positioned closer to Hawaii now, 1197 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island with sustained winds 50 kts. A slow fade is forecast as Kenneth tracks slowly due east over the next 5 days and only making it to within 773 nmiles of the Big Island. Sustained winds dropping to 40 kts at that time. Maybe some windswell for the east shores of the Big Island, but that's it.
Tropical Depression Max was well southeast of Los Angeles with sustained winds at 30 kts and fading out. This is the final update on Max with continued degradation and no swell producing fetch present.
Hurricane Jova was positioned about 500 nmiles east of the Big Island of Hawaii with sustained winds 80 kts tracking north-northwest. Swell from this system was already pushing into the Hawaiian Islands and that is expected to continue in the coming days as Jova tracks northward, slowly fading as it moves over cooler waters and it's fetch taking aim north of the Islands. Over the day Friday (9/23) Jova to fall below hurricane strength though still generating swell producing fetch aimed well at the Islands. By Sunday Jova is to really be fading though winds winds down to 35 kts and dropping from there. East to northeast windswell to be building in today and continuing through Saturday at 5.2 ft @ 10 secs (4-5 ft+ faces) then fading through the day Sunday.
Thursday's (9/22) jetstream charts indicated much the same as earlier in the week with the southern branch of the jet loosing much energy and the northern branch taking over. Still a large ridge was present in the northern branch pushing south over the Central South Pacific wiping out anything that was trying to form in that region. A trough continued over New Zealand with surface level development possible, but the major energy there (150 kt winds) was pushing southeast into the ridge discussed above and directing everything towards Antarctica (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a bit of a resurgence in the southern branch of the jet is forecast, eliminating any support for surface level storm development.
At the surface today a benign pattern was in place dominated by a large 1028 mb high southeast of Tahiti. Otherwise no organized weather systems were present (animation here). Over the next 72 hours one weak low is to pass east under New Zealand producing maybe 18 hours of 45 kt winds with no seas of interest, but we suspect even that is optimistic. No other weather systems of interest forecast. Thing are winding down for the season here.
More model data here
Weak Southeast Pacific Storm
On Tuesday (9/13) a 968 mb low was tracking east from under New Zealand with 45 kts winds confirmed down at 50S latitude 159W longitude aimed generally towards the northeast at California and somewhat at Hawaii. By early Wednesday (9/14) it started interacting with strong high pressure to it's north at 1028 mbs producing increase southwest winds confirmed at 45-50 kts centered near 54S 144W with seas 30 ft aimed at California and locations south of there fading to the 40-45 kt range late in the evening pushing even more north and east. At that time sea maxed at 34 ft centered at 51S 135W. The system started falling apart on Thursday (9/15) with winds 35 kts at 44N 129W. Residual seas of 32 ft held at 48S 132W and fading by nightfall.
This was no great storm, but prior to Storm #5S it would have been something to get interested in. Utility class swell is pushing north heading towards California Friday (9/23) with max rideable period 18 secs. Hawaii not looking to get much if anything from this one since most the best fetch was well east of the Islands and aimed east of there.
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Thursdays (9/22) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the trough of the Kuril Islands is to push to the dateline and fade as the jet flattens out again, though still with solid winds forecast at 150 from the dateline pushing into the Gulf. Looks like things are getting set up for winter, just not quite all the way there yet.
Beyond 72 hours at the surface a tropical low is to form west of the dateline tracking north by Wednesday (9/28) and blooming as it starts interacting with high pressure north of it. By Thursday (9/29) 50-55 kts winds are to be wrapping around it in all quadrants with the low tracking northeast towards the dateline, presumably turning extratropical. This could be interesting if it develops, but odds of that occurring are remote looking this far into the future.
Thursdays (9/22) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the southern branch of the jet is forecast to develop a gentle trough southeast of New Zealand by next Tuesday (9/27) amplifying some late into the workweek. Some hope in this region.
At the surface beyond 72 hours a 968 mb low is forecast to track east under New Zealand mid-next week with 45-50 kt+ west winds and 35 ft seas for 48 hours aimed northeast towards Tahiti, Hawaii and California. Will believe this when it happens.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table