On Saturday (9/30) Northern CA surf was chest to near head high and textured but rideable. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to near chest high on the sets. Central California surf was waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high with a few bigger sets at the best breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was chest to head high. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was knee high.
Swell from a gale that was over the Dateline earlier in the week is hitting Hawaii though certainly taking it's time ramping up and likely not to be as big as forecast. The Dateline swell is pushing towards California and looking marginally better than originally forecast, presumably due to the fact that the fetch was aimed reasonably well to the east. Unfortunately Southern CA to see little of this energy. The South Pacific is dormant with no swell producing systems forecast. The North Pacific is fairly inactive, with not a whole lot expected over the next week, though beyond that there's indications of a building pattern. IN all though we're still waiting for the real start of Fall. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Saturdays jetstream charts (9/30) indicated a relatively flat/zonal flow pushing off the Kuril's and tracking just south of the Aleutians east into the Gulf of Alaska. A pocket of 140 kts winds were blowing over the dateline, but no troughs or ridges of interest were evident and therefore it was unsupportive of surface level gale development. Over the next 72 hours a trough is to develop in the eastern Gulf of Alaska late Sunday deepening and pinching off Tuesday before pushing over Central CA. In parallel a second trough to develop over the dateline pushing east with a big ridge in between. Beyond 72 hours the trough is to han g over Central CA through the end of the workweek while the dateline trough quickly pinches off and lifts north with the ridge holding over the Gulf of Alaska. To the west a rather unorganized flow is to persist pushing off the Kuril's and meandering east. In all no real development suggested at the surface, but overall this continues to indicate that a fall pattern is trying to get established.
At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs had migrated from the dateline into the southern Gulf of Alaska while a gale circulated north of the Aleutian Islands in the Bering Sea. No swell producing fetch was evident in the California and Hawaiian swell windows other than some 15 kt trades pushing over Hawaii. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (10/3) the Bering Sea gale to continue spinning with bit's of fetch dropping south of the Aleutians momentarily but not getting any good traction on the oceans surface and not affording any swell development. High pressure to remain far enough off the California coast to have no impact there but it is to push far enough south to stir up a minor amplification of the HAwaiian trades Monday/Tuesday to the 20-25 kts range possibly setting up minor short period windswell along east facing shores. Otherwise pretty uneventful.
Extratropical Typhoon Nagi
The extratropical remnants of Typhoon Nagi tracked east off Japan late Sunday (9/24) with a tiny area of 40-45 kts west winds developing in the lows south quadrant targeting Hawaii as it merged with a small cold core low tracking east off the Kuril Islands. On Monday (9/25) AM the tiny fetch at 40-45 kts continued while lifting northeast, still well west of the dateline but was tracking northeast too fast to get any real traction on the oceans surface. In the evening that tiny fetch built to 50 kts pushing up to the dateline at 47N 177E aimed well north of any path to Hawaii and targeting California up the 303 great circle. By Tuesday AM pressure dropped to 980 mbs as the low moved over the dateline with wrap around fetch from the storm north quadrant moving into the west quadrant and targeting Hawaii from 50N 175E up the 331 great circle path and 40 kts winds in the south quadrant targeting California like before. Seas were finally building from 23 ft. In the evening a broader area of 40 kts winds to continue to be aimed at both Hawaii and California, but broader is a relative term with the total fetch still being small. Seas building to 23 ft aimed at Hawaii and 28 ft aimed at California from 46N 180W. The fetch to push east into Wednesday AM (9/27) with winds fading from 35-40 kts and over a shrinking area just east of the dateline. Seas building to 30 ft at 45N 175W focused mainly on California. By evening this system to be gone with 25 ft seas from previous days fetch starting to decay while pushing southeast. In total this to be a small storm with most fetch aimed east, but since it is closer to Hawaii, swell decay will have less effect and decent rideable surf should hit the Islands. Conversely California will be 2600 nmiles away from this storm, so swell decay will take it's toll resulting in smaller but longer period swell.
Swell pushing into exposed breaks in North California early Sunday (10/1) with swell 4 ft @ 15 secs (5-6 ft faces) slowly fading through Monday.
Typhoon Xangsane was positioned just offshore Vietnam with winds 115 kts and tracking west. Landfall expected in the next 6 hours. No swell generation potential for Hawaii or the US mainland.
No other tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (9/28) a weak pressure pattern continued directly off the California coast though high pressure was lurking further out. Generally calm winds were preset over nearshore coastal waters (less than 15 kts). No change forecast through Tuesday (10/3). Then high pressure is to push closer with north winds 15-20 kts moving over the North and Central coasts generating junky short period windswell. But that to be short lived with calm winds back by Thursday with no change forecast into next weekend.
On Saturday (9/30) a very weak jetstream pattern was in place over the South PAcific with no support for surface level gael development suggested. No significant change is forecast over the next 72 hours other than a gradual development of a trough in the far Southeastern Pacific. Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a decent trough developing Wednesday (10/4) under New Zealand with 160 kts winds pushing north into the trough. But that to be short lived with energy levels dropping fast by late Thursday and a new ridge wiping out any gains the trough tried to induce. Little chance for surface level gale development.
At the surface nothing of interest was occurring and nothing of interest was forecast over the next 72 hours.
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 the models suggest low pressure developing north of Hawaii early Wednesday (10/4) and quickly lifting north into the trough established there in the upper levels of the atmosphere, and pushing into Alaska late Thursday. Winds forecast at 35-40 kts with seas to 25 ft, but for the most part all pushing north towards Alaska. Maybe some tiny short period sideband swell to result for California, but odds low. At the same time another low to develop off the Kuril's tracking east to the dateline early Friday but winds to not exceed 30-35 kts aimed at Hawaii. Maybe some minimal 12 sec period windswell there late next weekend.
But of way more interest is the development of a large and broad low pressure system already present in the far Western Pacific just north of the equator. This to generating westerly winds (reverse trade winds) on the equator qualifying as a Westerly Wind Burst. This situation is associated with the developing active phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation and is expected to hold for the next week. Westerly Winds Bursts push warm surface waters to the east, eventually dropping below the oceans surface and traveling the whole width of the Pacific under the equator eventually gurgling up off South America. These pockets of warm water are called a Kelvin Wave and are contributors to the development of El Nino. This is a good sign for the winter to come. Historically the active phase of the MJO supports enhancement of storms over the dateline pushing into the Gulf, so it would not be surprising to see a spike in storm activity developing a week or more out. The models if fact suggest the low pressure pool in the West PAcific is to slowly lift north and east, likely providing the fuel for a series of gales 2-3 weeks out. Will monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing storms or gales forecast.
Details to follow...
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Oregon Shark Attack - Here's a first hand account and pictures (somewhat graphic) of a recent shark attack in Oregon. Tom (the victim) is recovering well. We wish him and his family the best of luck - Oregon Shark Attack
El Nino Forecast Updated: After a long hiatus since our last update (we've been heads-down building new wave models - coming soon) , we've finally dug in and did the analysis of what's going on over the Equatorial Pacific. Things are looking up some, so take a glance and get into all the details: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/enso/current.shtml
2006 Wave of Compassion: The 2006 Wave of Compassion is a sweepstakes style fundraiser for SurfAid International; a non-profit humanitarian aid organization on a mission to improve the health of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. This October, one grand-prize winner and guest will go on an all expense paid surf/cultural boat trip to the Mentawai Islands and North Sumatra. The Wave of Compassion trip is a chance to raise awareness and funds. Through the support of Surfline, Indies Trader Marine Adventures, FUEL TV, Reef, Jedidiah, Cobian, Anarchy Eyewear, Wave Riding Vehicles, Kandui Resort, Saraina Koat Mentawai, and a many other supporters, Wave of Compassion's ultimate goal is to raise $250,000 for SurfAid International. If you're interested, you have have until September 1st to enter. There's a suggested donation of $10 - but donating more increases the odds of winning the grand prize, or other prizes. Learn more at the Wave of Compassion website: http://www.waveofcompassion.org/
New Content - QuikCAST's and Satellite Altimetry: Stormsurf has been busy this winter putting some new things together. First up is two new QuikCAST's for the Northeast US Coast, one for Cape Hatteras-to-Virginia Beach and another for New Jersey-to-New York. Check them out Here
Also we now provide Jason-1 Altimetry data overlaid on our Wavewatch III wave models. Take a look Here
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table