On Thursday (10/11) Northern CA surf was up to double overhead at exposed breaks and clean, though a bit jumbled. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were chest to head high with sets 1 ft overhead. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was head high with sets 3 ft overhead. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was chest high with best breaks almost head high. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest to head high at the best breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with a few sets to 1 ft overhead. The North Shore of Oahu had some waist high peaks. The South Shore was waist to chest high. The East Shore was waist high.
North/Central California was getting the backside of the first significant class swell of the season coming from just off the Pacific Northwest coast. Southern California surf was doing pretty well with swell from the Eastern Gulf of Alaska wrapping well around Pt Conception and pushing into exposed breaks. Hawaii was essentially flat on the North Shore. There was a hint of northeast swell pushing into the East Shore but very small. Southern hemi background swell was doing well for the South Shore providing rideable surf, but on the way down. We're retroactively labeled the storm that generated Wednesdays swell in Northern CA as Storm #1 due many to the presence of 14 sec intervals. The Northeast Pacific is now moving into a calmer state, but only for a few days with a series of strong storms on the charts for the weekend and beyond. Fall is definitely here and coming on with an attitude. But this pattern to be focused again only on the Eastern Pacific, limiting Hawaii's exposure to any swell energy. And believe it or not, the Southeast Pacific is to bump up some energy this weekend too. Will monitor as we move into what looks to be a very active pattern over the next week. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/11) for the North Pacific indicated a solid pocket of wind energy pushing flat off Japan at 150 kts rising gently north and weakening marginally, then touching the Aleutians just east of the dateline with winds back to 140 kts. The jet was dropping hard south off the Pacific Northwest forming a trough there then weakly pushing into Northern CA. Limited support for low pressure development off the Pacific Northwest at best. Over the next 72 hours the pocket of energy over Japan is to migrate east to the dateline with a gentle ridge building there while the weak trough holds in the Gulf of Alaska. By Sunday morning a solid pocket of 150-160 kt wind energy is to be spilling over the top of this ridge down into the Gulf starting to provide good potential for surface level low pressure development in the Gulf. Beyond 72 hours starting Monday morning (10/15) up to 190 kts winds are to be falling into the developing trough in the Gulf pushing almost right over San Francisco. Very good support for surface level storm development likely. The trough is to hold into Wednesday (10/17) then flattening out some while a new pocket of 170 kts winds energy develops north of Hawaii, weakening into Friday but digging out another trough this time centered a little more to the west, or due north of Hawaii. Reasonably good support for surface level gale development forecast.
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 )
We've retroactively labeled the Gulf Storm of Mon-Wed (10/10) as the first significant class storm of the 2007-2008 season due mainly to the confirmed arrive of 14 sec intervals in the 10 ft range from 1-7 PM in the San Francisco area. So now were looking for Storm #2.
At the surface today weak low pressure at 1004 mbs was centered off the North California/South Oregon coast pushing east and generating 20-25 kts west winds in it's south quadrant likely pushing windswell towards the coast. A 988 mbs low was in the Central Bering Sea tracking east generating some 25 westerly winds south of the Aleutians in the vicinity of the dateline, but not generating swell that will affect anywhere of interest. Weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was just northwest of Hawaii, not serving to generate any windswell of interest off it's south quadrant. Over the next 72 hours the main area of interest will be the Bering Sea low, which is forecast to drop into the Gulf of Alaska Friday (10/12) starting to generate a fetch of 30-35 kt westerly winds just south of the Aleutians and just east of the dateline pushing east through Saturday. A small area of 20 ft seas are forecast at 48N 170W by Friday evening building to 23 ft at 47N 162W Saturday morning, then fading to 20 ft Sunday morning in the Central Gulf at 45N 150W. This to possible result in very small swell pushing into Oahu's North Shore late Monday (10/15) with period 14 secs then peaking Tuesday at 3 ft @ 12-13 secs (3.5-4.0 ft faces). Swell also pushing east towards California but that likely to be overridden by something better if the models are right (see long-term forecast).
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (10/11) weak low pressure at 1002 mbs was poised just east of southern Oregon holding high pressure and north winds well at bay and making for a light winds pattern locally. It is to push onshore Friday bringing a bout of light southerly winds (15-20 kts) down to Pt Conception during the day and some rain as far south as Monterey Bay. A quick clear-out is expected though with a light wind regime returning by Saturday morning and holding unchanged through Monday. perhaps a weak trough to push through Monday in Central CA with south winds 15 kts for 6-8 hours, but that is hard to pinpoint at this time. But come Tuesday (10/16) the models suggest a dramatically different pattern setting up with storm conditions likely continuing on into Wednesday down to Pt Conception while high pressure takes control of Southern CA with hard north winds forecast there by Wednesday evening.
Thursdays jetstream charts (10/11) for the South Pacific indicated no support for surface level low pressure development with the southern branch of the jetstream pushing over the northern half of the Ross Ice Shelf in the Southwest Pacific at 120 kts and much weaker and much further south in the Southeast Pacific.Over the next 72 hours an impressive trough is forecast to develop from wind energy currently present in the Southwest Pacific repositioned in the Central Pacific Friday (10/12) pushing well to the north with winds at 130-140 kts through Saturday (10/13), tracking east. Goods support for surface level gale development. Beyond a giant ridge to be right behind though driving over Antarctica and shutting any potential for surface low pressure development down, then slowly fading through the end of next week.
At the oceans surface today no winds of interest or significant weather systems capable of generating swell were in.cgiay in our forecast window. Over the next 72 hours a 960 mbs low is modeled developing over the Eastern Ross Ice Shelf Friday (10/12) tracking northeast into Saturday (10/13) generating a broad area of 40-45 kt winds pushing northeast from 55S 140W to 50S 120W generating seas modeled at 32 ft Friday evening at 52S 135W pushing 39 ft late Saturday on the eastern edge of the California swell window at 48S 118W. If this occurs some form of solid southern hemi swell is possible for mainly Southern CA a week out. Given the intensity of activity forecast in the Gulf of Alaska during the same swell arrival window, this well will appear insignificant in comparison. 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 some serious action is forecast if one is to believe the models. First up is a stronger gale passing east through the Southern Bering Sea Sunday (10/14) with fetch pushing south of the Aleutians in the evening at 45-50 kts with a secondary fetch just east of it at the same strength. Seas building. By Monday AM (10/15) 55 kts winds are to develop as these two fetch merge at 46N 149W, aimed right down the 299 degree great circle path to North California but east of the Hawaiian swell window. Seas building from 27 ft. By evening 50-55 kts winds to hold if not increase in fetch area while holding almost over the same area of oceans surface at 46N 145W generating seas to 35 ft. By Tuesday AM (10/16) the fetch to hold and increase even more in size pushing very close to the CA coast (750 nmiles) with winds 50-55 kts aimed right down the 302 degree great circle path to North CA with seas building to 42 ft at 43N 138W. In the evening at low to start fading with winds dropping from 45 kts at the same locale with seas peaking at 44 ft at 42N 133W, a mere 600 nmiles from San Francisco. Assuming all this come true, which is only wild speculation at this early date, very large significant class swell is likely to impact the North and Central CA coast accompanied by wind, rain and general storminess. Swell to be exceedingly raw and likely unrideable upon initial impact. Go through.cgians to protect beachside property. It is that time of year.
Directly on it's heel a second storm of equal strength is modeled developing in the same area Tuesday (10/16) taking a more easterly track pushing into the Central Gulf late Wednesday with 50-55 kts winds and seas building to 47 ft tracking east. This puts copious energy pushing down the 302 degree great circle path into North CA. An interesting scenario if it comes true.
Beyond 72 hours the models indicate no potential for generation of swell producing fetch. The South Pacific is asleep.
Details to follow...
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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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table