On Tuesday (10/18) Northern CA surf was head high to a little overhead and ripped to shreds by southwest wind. South facing breaks were chest high and junky. Central California surf was head high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high at the best breaks but otherwise flat. The LA area southward into Orange County was up to waist high. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high with chest high sets at the best breaks. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft over. The South Shore was waist high and a little more. The East Shore was waist to chest high.
Some decent swell continues along Hawaii's North Shore from a storm that pushed through the Gulf of Alaska late last week. That same swell is pushing into the northern half of California, but local winds were not favorable. A slow downward trend is expected in all locations over the coming days with no swell producing systems currently in play. But by Thursday (10/20) things are to get interesting with a rather strong and large storm forecast for the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Another is on the charts behind it too, so make the most of the downtime now. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Tuesday (10/18) the jetstream was pushing quite strong off Kamchatka and the Northern Kuril Islands with winds 190 kts pushing just north of due east to the intersection of the Aleutians and the dateline terminating north of Hawaii just south of the Aleutians. It was pushing the storm track through the Bering Sea, but that is to change by Wednesday as it's axis tilts southeast driving all this energy into the Gulf of Alaska. A trough is expected to deepen there into Saturday (10/22), then pinching off on Sunday with another weaker batch of energy forecast in the same location early next week. The Gulf is looking to become a good place for storm development at the surface based on the models current output.
Today at the surface a mild pattern was in place over the North Pacific with no dominating weather features. High pressure at 1028 mbs was over the dateline ridging east and west. A 984 mb low was in the Bering Sea tracking east, and a series of three very weak low were strung along a line extending from Oregon to well west of Hawaii, but again no noteworthy fetch was indicated.
Nothing of interest forecast until Wednesday (10/19) when the low in the Bering Sea starts to respond to the dip in the jetstream and sinks southeast towards the Gulf of Alaska with another low from Siberia tracking quick east to join it along with a little low pushing north from Hawaii. All are to converge and sputter to life consolidating in to one large complex storm in the Gulf with pressure 984 mbs while strong high pressure builds west of it at 1028 mbs setting up a broad and steady fetch of 35-40 kt winds centered near 47N 170W aimed mid-way between Hawaii and California.Seas on the increase. Additional energy to drop southeast from the Bering Sea into the Gulf on Thursday (10/20) driving pressure down to 968 mbs while high pressure to the west builds to 1032 mbs moving closer to the storm, generating a strong gradient with 55-60 kt winds building in the lows southwest sector centered near 50N 158W and aimed just south of Northern CA down the 308 degree great circle path, holding through the night and into early Friday morning (10/21). This prolonged fetch to generate 46 ft seas during the early morning hours of Friday and holding in the 40 ft range till late afternoon. A quick decline is expected starting Friday night with the storm fading out and the high diving south towards Hawaii.
Large swell is expected to be pushing southeast focused on California with some sideband energy dropping due south towards Hawaii. Of course all this is pure model voodoo and not a molecule of air is actually moving in in response to this system yet. By Wednesday night a much clearer picture should be developing.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/18) a weak 1000 mb low was trying to organize off Oregon with a fleeting fetch of 35-40 kt winds imaged in it's southwest sector aimed at North CA. A small patch of 17 ft seas were suggested at 43n 137W likely generating windswell pushing towards California, but is forecast to be gone by nightfall. High pressure at 1020 mbs was right behind the low tracking east and is forecast to take control of the outer California waters by Wednesday AM (10/19) providing a much needed buffer between the state and the storm forecast for the Gulf. It is to hold centered just off San Francisco through the weekend providing a light to moderate 10 kt northwest flow into next week. No windswell generation potential to result other than what might push south from the low above.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell generating fetch of interest forecast.
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 another low is to push through the Bering Sea on Monday (10/24) with fetch building south of the Aleutians over the dateline. This system to track east with 32 ft seas forecast in the Gulf by Tuesday (10/25). Not bad but nowhere near as strong as the storm forecast for the early weekend. Will monitor.
At the surface beyond 72 hours the models had suggest a progressive pattern of lows to push east under New Zealand and perhaps gathering some momentum over time. But the projections continue to erode with each run of the models and look nowhere near as optimistic as even a few days before. Maybe some background swell to result for Hawaii with a little luck, but that's it.
Details to follow...
Down the Line: Powerlines Production movie guru's Curt Myers and Eric W. Nelson unleash their latest creation which explores the big wave conditions in Hawaii, California and Chile last year. Includes footage from Peahi, the Mavericks Surf Contest and Ghost Trees. See it Oct 21st at 7 and 9 PM in Santa Cruz. More details here: http://www.powerlinesproductions.com
New Stormsurf Wave & Weather Models have been Released: After a year of development we're released our newest installment of Regional and Local wave models. Read more here.
Rob Gilley Photgraphy: Please take amoment to check out the selection of limited print images availabe at Rob Gilleys webite. All images in the 2005 line were taken by Rob Gilley, an 19 year Surfer Magazine staff photographer, and are personally signed and numbered by him: http://www.pacificsurfgallery.com
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table