On Sunday (10/21) Northern CA surf was triple overhead plus and almost glassy with a moderate side-offshore breeze. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were head high to 2 ft overhead early and clean. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was 1-3 ft overhead and clean. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was waist to head high depending on the break. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest to head high with bigger sets and clean. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high plus and clean. The North Shore of Oahu was chest high. The South Shore was thigh to waist high. The East Shore was chest high plus at select spots.
North/Central California was still getting very solid swell from Storm #3, with solid significant class surf and the biggest of the season so far. Southern California was getting a mix of swell coming from Storm #3 but from a rather northerly direction and shadowed and building southern hemi swell in the 18 sec range. Hawaii was getting a the last bit's of sideband energy from early in the life of Storm #3 on the North Shore, still providing something decent to ride. A little bit of this swell was wrapping into the East Shore too. Minor background swell was pushing into the South Shore. Real swell was the name of the game in the far Eastern Pacific thanks to back-to-back Storms #2 an #3, but that will soon be nothing more than a distant memory with nothing more of any real interest is on the charts. That said, a low pressure system is scheduled for the dateline region mid-to-late week pushing towards the Gulf of Alaska which may offer some hope to push semi-real swell towards Hawaii. So far this season they've been locked out of the bulk of the action. But it looks like maybe it's their turn now. This is not to be anything special, just the first push of something for the dateline region so far this year. And if the charts are right the southern hemi is not done yet. Seems pretty far fetched, but maybe some more swell is coming focused on Hawaii's Southern Shore. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (10/21) for the North Pacific indicated a lot of energy in the jet, but not configured to be of much benefit to anyone. Strong winds to 150 kts were arching up in to a ridge off the Kuril's then diving hard at 190 kts into a steep trough just north of Hawaii. Then the flow headed north again at 170 kts arching over a huge ridge just off the PAcific Northwest. Only the trough above Hawaii had any support for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to pinch off and pretty much dissipate by mid-Monday (10/22) eliminating support for surface level low pressure development. The ridge in the east is to hold while slowly pushing inland while a new weak trough tries to develop just west of the dateline with winds in the 150 kts range. But most energy to be aimed northeast towards the Gulf rather than southwest towards the Islands. Still there some hope for surface level low pressure development in that region. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to weaken significantly and track east-northeast towards and into the Gulf by Friday (10/26) with diminishing support for surface low pressure development. By next weekend the only glimmer of hope is to be a very weak pocket of 150 kts winds energy pushing off Japan looking to be the start of a new trough bound for the dateline and positioned well to the south maybe offering Hawaii the best short of small swell.
At the surface today strong high pressure was in control with one pushing into the Pacific Northwest at 1028 mbs and a second of equal strength just west of the dateline dropping south from the Aleutians. Sandwiched in between was weak low pressure at 996 mbs forming a bit of a gradient with the two bordering high pressure systems driving a large area of north winds at 20-25 generating 15-17 ft seas aimed right at Hawaii with a second fetch of southwest winds at 30 kts aimed towards Canada. Windswell likely for both locales. Over the next 72 hours the Hawaiian north winds fetch is to hold into Monday (10/22) then fade, and the fetch pushing into Canada is to do the same. Nothing else to follow immediately with a rather calm pattern taking over.
Tropical Storm Kiko was still positioned just off Mainland Mexico near Puerto Vallarta on Sunday (10/21) with winds 50 kts and well outside the CA swell window. A turn to the west-northwest is forecast in 24 hours while slow weakening sets in. No chance for swell pushing into the California swell window.
Typhoon Kajiki was a ways east of off Northern Japan tracking fast to the northeast with winds 75 kts. This system to be fading and turning extratropical heading for the dateline. The models suggest it to become absorbed in broad low pressure in the Bering Sea by Wednesday (10/24) offering no direct support for storm and swell development.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (10/21) strong high pressure at 1028 mbs was ridging into the far north Cape mendocino coast forming a pressure gradient with lower pressure to the east generating a fetch of brisk northerly winds pushing down the Central and South California coast. But that is to be fading quickly with the flow turning distinctly offshore by Monday setting up pristine Fall conditions then slowly fading into a calm state through Wednesday. Another bout of high pressure, even stronger this time, is forecast building into the Gulf by Thursday (10/25) generating 30 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino into Friday, but is supposed to leave the local weather picture alone from Pt Reyes southward. Summer-like northern windswell a distinct possibly through north of Pt Conception. Light to calm winds forecast over the area for next weekend as the high fades.
Sundays jetstream charts (10/21) for the South Pacific indicated a ridge pushing south over the Central South Pacific offering no support for surface low pressure development. A weak trough was trying to push north over New Zealand providing a little space for something to develop there. Over the next 72 hours a persistent trough to remain over the New Zealand area though winds to be generally light. Stronger winds to 140 kts are forecast building in by Wednesday (10/24) improving odds for gale formation. Beyond 72 hours the trough pattern there is to become much better defined with a solid area of 140 kts winds setting up pushing north by Friday (10/26) then moving towards the Central Pacific. If this occurs good support for surface level gale development possible.
At the oceans surface today a small 972 mb gale was developing under New Zealand with winds at 45-50 kts and a infinitesimal area of 30 ft seas indicated at 50S 170E. This system to push northeast into Monday morning with seas building to 36 ft at 48S 178W then fade through the day, with winds dropping to 35 kts and seas to 30 ft at 43S 167W late. A decent bout of utility class swell is expected mainly for Hawaii 6-7 days out. Swell details will be posted in the QuikCAST's. A series of 2 more small low pressure systems are to follow right on the same path, but neither are to get any real traction on the oceans surface.
South Pacific Storm
A 960 mb gale developing over the Eastern Ross Ice Shelf Thursday (10/11) tracking northeast.
It finally got some exposure over open ice free waters on Friday morning (10/12) with confirmed winds of 40-45 kts at 55S 140W aimed almost due north aimed towards California up the 190 degree path. Those winds expanded rapidly in the evening with 45-50 kts winds confirmed streaming northeast to 50S 132W aimed towards Southern CA up the 188 degree great circle path. 30 ft seas were modeled at 54S 134W. The Jason-1 satellite passed directly over the core of the fetch an confirmed seas at 28.4 ft with individual readings to 35 ft, which is pretty good and about in line with the model.
Saturday AM (1013) a solid fetch of 35-40 kts winds was confirmed at 50S 126W with a new core to 50 kts at 54S 123W aimed right towards Southern CA up the 184 degree path. 35 ft seas were modeled at 51S 129W. In the evening 40-45 kt winds were aimed northeast at 50S 123W aimed 25 degrees east of the 183 degree path to South CA. 36 ft seas were modeled at 50S 122W. The Jason-1 satellite passed south of the core of the fetch but confirmed seas at 31 ft, better than what the models indicated. This is a good sign.
Sunday AM (10/14) this system moved out of the Southern CA swell window winds winds 35 kts or less. 32 ft seas were modeled at 48S 118W and fading.
In all this was a pretty good late season storm for the southeast Pacific. All fetch was aimed well to the north, 5100 nmiles away, and should push a decent amount of utility class swell into Southern CA peaking Sunday (10/21) with swell 3 ft @ 17 secs (5 ft faces). Swell expected at 3.3 ft @ 15 secs Monday (4.5-5.0 ft faces) fading from 3 ft @ 14 secs Tuesday (4 ft faces). Swell Direction: 182-188 degrees Swell to also push into exposed breaks in North CA arriving 12 hours later.
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 a broad but diffuse low pressure system at 992 mbs is to set up in the Western Bering Sea Wednesday (10/24) sagging well to the south and generating a fetch of 25 kt northwest winds and 19 ft seas pushing down off Kamchatka aimed at Hawaii. It's to push over the dateline Thursday with winds building to 35-40 kts and seas building to 21 ft aimed a bit east of the Islands then pushing towards the Gulf while dissipating Friday with seas fading from 23 ft. 12-13 sec period swell likely for Hawaii late in the weekend with lesser energy pushing towards the US West Coast. Nothing else to follow.
The active phase of Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is all but gone now, with only another 4-5 days of weak anomalous west 850 mb winds forecast pushing into Central America. The inactive phase is building over the Indian Ocean, but is expected to die there fortunately, not suppressing the odds for storm development in the Gulf but not offering anything to help it out either. So a rather uninteresting pattern is forecast at least through 11/10.
Beyond 72 hours an impressive late season gale is forecast building under New Zealand Thursday (10/25) generating 45-50 kts winds and 38 ft seas aimed well to the north to northeast through Friday (with seas up to 40 ft), then fading Saturday with it's lingering fetch aimed all due north towards Hawaii. If this occurs possible significant class summer time southern hemi swell is possible focused on Hawaii's South Shore, but solid energy to also push towards California too. Seems like a long shot but we will monitor it.
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