On Sunday (9/25) Northern CA surf was chest to shoulder high with light offshore's early. South facing breaks were waist high with chest high sets. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were waist high with some bigger sets at the best breaks. The LA area southward into Orange County was waist to chest high with sets to head high at the very best spots. Southward to San Diego waves were waist to chest high with head high sets. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore was up to waist high. The East Shore was shoulder high from the remnants of Hurricane Jova.
Small but quite rideable swell for all locations today, though from different sources. North California still had decent sized windswell and clean conditions, Southern California was getting the tail end of some southern hemi swell, and Hawaii was getting swell from Jova. In all it made for something fun to ride, and that's certainly better than nothing at all. Two big things are on our watch list for the week. First up a gale in the Gulf of Alaska on Tuesday has been on the charts for days now, and is still expected. This could provide some decent surf for late in the week going into the early weekend for North and Central CA. And down south a rather potent storm is on the charts starting Wednesday south of New Zealand. It' s kinda late in the season, but a solid swell could result. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Sunday (9/25) at the jetstream level the same old flat flow in effect tracking from west to east just south of the Aleutian Islands with two pockets of stronger energy positioned over the dateline and in the eastern Gulf of Alaska. The dateline pocket had winds of 160 kts and was of most interest (animation here). Over the next 72 hours the dateline pocket is to dip south while moving into the Gulf of Alaska with 150 kt winds feeding into it, peaking on Tuesday (9/27). This looks capable of support something at the surface. By Wednesday the jet is to start lifting a little north in the Gulf reducing the space available for storm formation south of the Aleutians, though a rather healthy flow is still expected over the entire North Pacific. Things are slowly improving.
At the surface on Sunday high pressure at 1032 mbs continued controlling the Northeast Pacific with the main core in the southern Gulf of Alaska with a second core off Japan at 1020 mbs. The obvious tropical influence east of Hawaii had vanished. Decent strengthed winds continued to be generated off the south and east sides of this high at 25 kts off Cape Mendocino providing windswell for North and Central California and 15-20 kts just east of Hawaii. A small little 1004 mb low was over the dateline south of the Aleutians and minimal typhoon Saola was just east of Central Japan with winds at 65 kts and fading. The dateline low is of most interest this morning (animation here). Over the next 72 hours high pressure is to retreat in the Gulf of Alaska while the little dateline low blooms. By Monday night (9/26) pressure is to drop to 984 mbs with a broad area of 25-30 kts winds developing in it's southwest quadrant aimed well from Pt Conception northwards up into the Pacific Northwest with a core of winds to near 40 kts expected. Hawaii to be mostly outside this systems influence though. Tuesday is to be the day as the gale drops to 972 mbs positioned in the Northern Gulf with 40-45 kt winds building aimed right at Oregon and North CA. Sea at 26 ft forecast centered near 48N 158W, or 1600 nmiles north west of North CA. By Wednesday (9/29) a quick fade is to set in with only residual 20-25 kt fetch left and blowing only towards (and impacting) North Canada. Some degree of follow-on fetch is expected to develop on Thursday (9/29) into Friday pushing more 25-30 kts fetch from the Gulf right into Washington and likely generating more but shorter period windswell behind the main swell. In all this is not to be an impressive system, in fact not even reaching storm status. But it's to be far enough south and close enough that some decent swell will likely push east into British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and California resulting in moderate sized surf late Friday into the weekend (if this develops as forecast). Maybe even some sideband swell to push into Oahu's North Shore. Will monitor.
More model data here
California Offshore Forecast
Sunday mornings local charts (9/25) indicated high pressure continued at 1032 mbs in the southern Gulf of Alaska ridging east towards Washington and generating north winds off Cape Mendocino at 25-30 kts and north windwell off the coast of California. A quick decay to set in on Monday (9/26) with windswell heading down fast. At this time no windswell expected through Wednesday (9/28) with only a brief return possible starting Thursday (9/29). Pesty north winds to become an issue locally Friday and Saturday. In general, local windswell is not to be a significant swell source.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
(updated Sunday AM 9/25)
Hurricane Kenneth just won't give up. We wrote him off 3 days ago then he regained strength and is tracking east today with 65 kt winds positioned 900 nmiles east-southeast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Current data (for what it's worth) suggest Kenneth to continue a very slow track west, then fading on Wednesday (9/28) to tropical Storm status and heading down from there. By Friday (9/30) Kenneth to be a tropical depression positioned 250 nmiles east of the Big Island. Given this track some degree of easterly windswell is likely for the northeast shorts of most Islands near the weekend, but it's really too early to know with any certainty.
Hurricane Jova has dissipated north of the Hawaiian Islands with no swell producing fetch left.
Tropical Storm Norma was positioned just south of the island of Socorro (south of Baja) with sustained winds 45 kts. She is to track northwest and fade over the next 48 hours with no swell generation potential forecast.
Sunday's (9/25) jetstream charts indicated a very weak pattern in place over the entire South Pacific with no indication of any support for storm development at the surface(animation here). Over the next 72 hours a bit of a resurgence in the southern branch of the jet is forecast with a trough forecast southeast of New Zealand though winds in this trough to only be in the 11 kt range. Weak potential at the surface.
At the surface today a benign pattern remained in place with neither any strong high or low pressure systems in control (animation here). Over the next 72 hours a progressive pattern of weak lows is forecast under New Zealand tracking northeast. Finally on Wednesday (9/28) a solid one is forecast at 960 mbs producing a broad fetch of 45-50 kts winds aimed northeast building to 55 kts late in the day. Seas forecast to 36 ft centered at 50S 180W. This looks promising if it really develops. The low is to become more organized on Thursday (9/29) with pressure dropping to 944 mbs and a broad fetch of 40-50 kts winds setting up in it's westerly quadrant positioned south-southeast of Tahiti and south of Hawaii. These winds are to be aimed well at all the usual targets (Tahiti, Hawaii and the US west coast) with seas building to 45 ft centered at 45S 165W if one is to believe the models. Fetch to dissipate on Friday with seas dropping from 43 ft. this all looks great on paper rivaling the big storm a week ago, but with the potential for virtual fetch suggested. But again, it's all just a forecast and the likelihood of it actually forming is remote. Will monitor.
More model data here
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future
Sundays (9/25) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours a new batch of energy is to move into the Gulf of Alaska on Friday (9/30) with a broad patch of 160-180 kts winds circulating there, just far enough south to possible support some sort of surface level storm. This actually looks reasonably impressive. This trough is to move into Canada over the weekend with a rather convoluted and weak pattern following directly.
Beyond 72 hours at the surface high pressure at 1028 mbs is to develop over the dateline with a general trend of westerly winds at 20-25 kts pushing off the Kurils, riding over the high , then spilling southeast through the Gulf aimed at the west coast of the US. No obvious swell expected to result, but it likely won't go flat either with short period windswell resulting. Hawaii to be mostly out of the flow with no real northerly swell expected there.
Sundays (9/25) upper level models indicate that beyond 72 hours the trough in the southern branch of the jet is forecast to build with winds up to 150 kts feeding into it by Thursday (9/29). The trough to hold through Friday then start fading over the weekend. Some degree of surface level support for storm development suggested. Beyond that a weak pattern to fall back into place.
At the surface beyond 72 hours no swell producing systems forecast.
Details to follow...
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table