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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: October 2, 2007 7:09 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 = 3.5 - California & 1.5 - 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 10/1 thru Sun 10/7
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   

Gulf Swell/Windswell Combo for CA
More Gale Activity Forecast for the Eastern Gulf

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (10/2) Northern CA surf was 2-4 ft overhead and clean, though a little warbled. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was chest to head high. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was 2 ft or less at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to chest high at the better breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were thigh high, maybe a little more with luck. The North Shore of Oahu was thigh high at best. The South Shore was waist high. The East Shore was chest high.

North/Central California was getting a nice little chunk of north swell from the Gulf of Alaska. Southern California surf was small but expected to come up with Gulf swell moving towards exposed north facing breaks. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. Small to moderate tradewind generated windswell was hitting the East Shore and wrapping into exposed breaks on the South Shore. We're done with the Southern Hemisphere for the season and will report only if there's something of interest developing, which doesn't appear likely anytime soon. The North Pacific remains the source of action and appears to be on the upswing, though that's more a premature speculation than anything. And whatever does form appears to be focused on the Northern Gulf of Alaska, bypassing Hawaii. But clearly semi-real northwest swell is in the water hitting the California coast and several more days of slightly lesser swell is forecast behind. A bit of a break surf-wise for the weekend on the mainland but a new stronger gale is forecast to be building in the Gulf with multiple days of lesser activity forecast behind that focused on California and the Pacific Northwest. So Fall is here though localized for the time being to the Northern Gulf. See details below...

 

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

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/2) for the North Pacific indicated a weak disorganized flow pushing off Northern Japan pushing northeast to the dateline and moving just over the Aleutian Islands. Then it turned southeast and increased in strength and coherency to 150 kts, making a beeline directly into Vancouver Island forming a bit of a trough in the Northern Gulf of Alaska capable of supporting surface level low pressure development. This was an area worth attending to. Over the next 72 hours the weak ridge over the dateline is to amplify and slide a little east only serving to increase the steepness of the trough in the Gulf with winds building to near 170 kts early Thursday (10/4) but pushing dangerously close to the Central Canadian coast. Good support for some form of surface level low pressure development likely, then fading by Friday. Beyond 72 hours a repeat of the pattern is forecast with a new trough setting up in the Northern Gulf on Saturday (10/6) with a nice trough and up to 170 kt winds forecast into Monday (10/8) supporting possible development of a surface level gale. More of the same forecast into Wednesday too. A more energetic but split flow is forecast in the West Pacific offering no hope there.

Jetstream Models: We've upgraded our jetstream forecast models to includes topographic land with the jet flowing over it. Wind speeds less than 50 kts are masked out. See it here:( NPac, SPac )

At the surface today high pressure at 1032 mbs extended from the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians southeast to a point 800 nmiles west of San Francisco driving all eastward migrating weather systems off Japan north into the Bering Sea then allowing them to drop south in the Northern Gulf of Alaska, free and clear of any impeding landmass. One such low was present in the extreme Northern Gulf with pressure 998 mbs forming a gradient with the high pressure cell back to the west and generating a fetch of 30 kt northwest winds targeting primarily southern British Columbia. Seas were modeled in the 20 ft range pushing towards the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. The high pressure cell was also generating a building fetch of 15 kt northerly winds along the Central CA coast and enhancing trades over the Hawaiian Island in the 20 kts range, generating modest short period windswell along East Shores. Swell from a gale in the Gulf over the past weekend has generated swell currently hitting the Pacific Northwest on down into California. Over the next 72 hours the fetch currently in the northeastern Gulf to persist generating more 30 kt northwest winds and 21 ft seas while sinking southeast to a point just off the Pacific Northwest late on Thursday (10/4). More jumbled 12-13 sec period windswell expected for the Pacific Northwest and California into Friday (10/5). See QuikCAST's for details.

 

Tropics
Tropical Depression Juliette, formally a weak tropical storm, was tracking north off of southern Baja Mexico with winds to 20 kts and fading. No swell generation potential.

Typhoon Krosa was 400 nmiles west of the northern Philippines with sustained winds 65 kts. Slow strengthening is forecast over the next 72+ hrs while it tracks on a northwest course, putting it just off Northern Taiwan on Sunday morning (10/7) with sustained winds up to 115 kts. Will be watching this one for possible re-curvature to the north and northeast in the days beyond.

Typhoon Lemika was off the coast of North Vietnam with winds 70 kts heading due west, with landfall expected on Wednesday. No swell generation potential for our forecast area.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/2) high pressure at 1032 mbs was trying to ridge into the Central CA coast starting to build a local fetch of northerly winds from Cape Mendocino towards Pt Conception. That fetch is to get a better foothold by Wednesday AM with north winds at 15-20 kts and chop the rule nearshore, increasing through the day. That to hold Thursday and Friday as well, making a mess of what would have been some fun sized northwesterly swell north of Pt Conception. Southern CA to remain protected through the duration in the mornings, though northwesterlies are forecast by early after noon all days. By Saturday (10/6) this fetch to fade as high pressure dissolves while low pressure builds in the Gulf. A light wind pattern and improving local conditions is forecast by Sunday continuing on into at least Tuesday of next week (10/9).

 

South Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/2) for the South Pacific indicated a split flow over the bulk of the Southern Pacific with the southern branch mostly over Antarctic Ice. Over the next 72 hours the pattern is to become even more entrenched with no support for surface level low pressure indicated. Beyond 72 hours the pattern is to only get worse with the entire southern branch moving inland over Antarctica continuing to suppress any chance for surface level gale development.

At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in-play in our forecast window. Over the next 72 hours more of the same is forecast, with no winds of interest forecast.

 

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 models a new gale developing in the southeastern Bering Sea starting early Friday (10/5) with pressure 976 mbs setting up a fetch of 45 kts northwest winds moving into the extreme Northern Gulf of Alaska. Seas building to 30 ft. That low to pause in the Northern Gulf on Saturday with winds down to 35 kts then reorganizing with a new fetch of 35 kts winds developing in the same area aimed right at Central CA with seas building to 21 ft, then slowly fading into Sunday (10/7). 23 ft seas to be pushing south into early Monday. Possible moderate swell to result focused on the Pacific Northwest on down into exposed breaks in Central CA.

A secondary low is forecast developing right behind it and much further south on Tuesday (10/9), 1000 nmiles west of Cape Mendocino CA with a building area of 35 kts west winds and pushing to the east. Pressure dropping to 980 mbs late and winds and rain impacting the Pacific Northwest coast. Looks like a winter storm is possible.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate no potential for generation of swell producing fetch. The South Pacific is asleep.

Details to follow...

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External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) , Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) , Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) , Kelvin Wave

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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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