On Tuesday (10/23) Northern CA surf was shoulder high and the wind was light offshore. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to chest high and clean. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was head high with some slightly bigger sets. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was waist to chest high at exposed south facing breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was chest to head high with a few bigger sets and clean. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were chest to head high with bigger sets and clean. Smaller far to the south. The North Shore of Oahu was chest to head high with sets 1 ft more. The South Shore was up to waist high. The East Shore was waist to chest high at select spots.
North/Central California was getting small leftovers from this past weekends swell mixed with moderate southern hemi energy but coming from a rather steep southerly angle. Southern California was getting a good but declining dose of southern hemi swell with fading northwest swell underneath it. Hawaii was getting a nice pulse of north angled windswell along North and East Shores. Southeasterly southern hemi swell was fading along the South Shore. The East Pacific has really settled down with no Fall-like weather systems on the charts and none forecast. If anything, a summer-like pressure gradient is forecast off Cape Mendocino offering up windswell for later in the week. In the West Pacific a gale is on the charts starting off the Kuril's Islands mid-week pushing over the dateline and into the Gulf by the weekend before dying there. This one has good potential for some Fall utility swell mainly focused on Hawaii over the coming weekend with some energy possibly pushing into California next week. And something that almost resembles a real gale is starting to grace the charts a week out. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesday jetstream charts (10/23) for the North Pacific indicated a decent amount of energy in the jet, but not configured to be of much use to anyone. Starting off the Kuril's Islands a week trough was trying to organize with a pocket of 140 kt winds imbedded in the jetstream there, arching gently over the dateline then falling into something that resembled a trough north of Hawaii, but with no winds of interest associated with it. The flow then headed decidedly north forming a ridge with 150 kts winds building in it pushing over the North Canadian coast. Only the almost trough off the Kuril's offered any hope for provide support for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to deepen slightly as it pushes over the dateline early Thursday (10/25) with winds 140 kts in it's bottom, offering a little hope for gale development. Beyond 72 hours that trough is to continue pushing east into the Gulf of Alaska while weakening and feeding into the semi-permanent ridge over the US West coast, shearing it apart late Friday. But a new pocket of energy is to push off Siberia at the same time with winds to 190 kts into Sunday (10/28) fading but deepening forming a steep trough north of Hawaii Tuesday and offering more support for surface level low pressure development. The ridge over the Eastern Gulf of Alaska is to hold rock solid if not amplify some suggesting bullet- proof high pressure building in stronger over the area.
At the surface today two moderate high pressure systems remained in control at 1024 mbs with one locked over the Pacific Northwest and the second 900 nmiles north-northwest of Hawaii. A weak low was in between the two lifting fast to the north and generating 25 kt south winds that bumped up readings at buoy 46006 well off the California coast, but most of that energy is bound for Canada. A 988 mbs low pressure system was trying to develop over the northern Kuril's but has yet to push out in to exposed waters of the Northwest Pacific. So all is calm for now. Over the next 72 hours the Kuril low is to track east through the Bering Sea but generating a broad fetch of 30-35 kts winds in the Northwestern Pacific free and clear of obstruction from the Aleutians and aimed well at Hawaii down the 314 degree great circle path by Wednesday AM (10/24). Seas building to 23 ft starting near 45N 165E. The low is to track east though the Bering Sea while the fetch tracks east also free-and-clear in the North Pacific pushing over the dateline Friday (10/26). Reinforcing wind are to also be pushing south over the Aleutians and into the main swell generation area reaching 35-40 kts. Seas building to 25 ft at 47N 175W at that time swinging more towards the US West Coast and less towards the Islands. By Saturday the fetch and low are to fade out in the northwestern Gulf with seas fading from 23 ft at 47N 162W. In all this is not to be an impressive systems and if anything it's to be pretty mediocre. But It's to hold together for 4 days and be in relatively close proximity to the Hawaiian Islands. The net result is some form of 13-14 sec period swell to possibly result for Hawaii starting on Sunday (10/28) and maybe pushing into Central California on Tuesday (10/30).
Otherwise high pressure off the California coast to set up a pressure gradient and strong north to northeast winds off Cape Mendocino Thursday and Friday (10/26) building to 40-45 kts over a small area and generating up to 23 ft seas Friday. Large local windswell possible for exposed breaks in Central CA Friday. The gradient is forecast to push offshore tracking towards Hawaii with 30 kt winds aimed right at the Islands into early Sunday (10/28). Possible windswell along northeast shores Mon/Tues (10/30).
Tropical Depression Kiko was tracking west just beyond the Islands of Socorro and 200 nmiles southwest of Cabo San Lucas. Winds were 25 kts with a slow fade expected. No chance for swell pushing into the California or Hawaiian swell windows.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (10/23) high pressure at 1024 mbs was ridging directly over the Cape Mendocino coast. No pressure gradient was forming with a light offshore wind pattern in-play. A calm seas state was indicated. No change Wednesday then strong high pressure at 1040 mbs is to be building in the Eastern Gulf ridging right into Oregon setting up an extreme pressure gradient over Cape Mendocino generating 40-45 kt north winds there with good areal coverage. Seas on the increase. Lesser winds to be pushing into the coast down to Pt Conception. This scenario to hold into Friday morning with seas peaking out at 23-25 ft there. Large local windswell possible. The wind vector to turn more offshore late Friday and be fading fast by Saturday with swell fading. But the pressure gradient is to be tracking offshore moving towards Hawaii. Most unusual with possible swell moving towards the Islands. Light offshore's Sunday and Monday (10/29).
Tuesdays jetstream charts (10/23) for the South Pacific indicated a weak trough, not even really defined but more just the absence of any ridge, in the Southwest Pacific. Winds were only 100 kts so there wasn't much support for surface level low pressure development. A defined but weak ridge was over the Southeast Pacific shutting down any chance for surface level low pressure development there. Over the next 72 hours a persistent trough to remain over the New Zealand area with winds building to the 140 kt range through aimed mostly east and centered under the Tasman Sea then pushing under New Zealand on Thursday (10/25) 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 northeast by Saturday (10/27) easing towards the Central Pacific. It's to really get solid by Tuesday (10/30) with 160 kt winds aimed due north then. Great support for surface level gale development if this were to occur, but odds are very low this early in the game.
At the oceans surface today the fading remnants of a tiny gale were tracking east from New Zealand (see Micro Gale below). no other swell producing fetch was evident. Over the next 72 hours starting Wednesday evening (10/24) a 960 mbs low is to track east from under New Zealand moving into the Southwest Pacific. Winds forecast at 45 kts at 54S 165E moving into the Hawaiian swell window. 36 ft seas are forecast at 54S 154E aimed mostly east. On Thursday AM (10/25) the low to to push clearing into the Hawaiian swell window with 45 kts winds aimed northeast at 52S 172E aimed almost right up the 201 degree great circle path to Hawaii. 37 ft seas forecast at the same location. In the evening the gale to hold at 50S 180W still aimed well to the north with 41 ft seas over a small area at the same place. Friday AM (10/26) pressure to still be 960 mbs but winds are to be fading from 45 kts at 49S 170W with seas 39 ft at 47S 172W. Another burst of wind energy is forecast in the evening with winds back to 45 kts at 55S 165W aimed due north or right at Hawaii up the 182 degree great circle path. Seas from previous fetch at 33 ft @ 46S 168W. A rapid fade is forecast Saturday (10/27) with 29 ft seas hanging in the area through nightfall. If this develops as forecast possible significant class summertime swell to push into the Hawaiian Islands with period near 20 secs 6 days out with utility class swell for California days out. Will monitor.
New Zealand Micro-Gale
On Sunday (10/21) morning a small 972 mb gale developed under New Zealand with winds at 45-50 kts and a infinitesimal area of 30 ft seas indicated at 50S 170E. There was maybe 240 nmiles of straight-line fetch aimed at Hawaii. This system pushed northeast in the evening with winds confirmed by the QuikSCAT satellite down to 40-45 kts with seas up to 37 ft at 49S 175E. Residual 40 kts winds were fading at 42S 168W Monday morning with seas down to 30 ft at 46S 177W, then gone by nightfall. A decent bout of late season utility class swell is expected mainly for Hawaii starting Sunday with period 18 secs peaking Monday (10/29) with swell 2.6 ft @ 15 secs (4 ft faces) from 200 degrees. Swell details will be posted in the QuikCAST's.
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 new low pressure system is forecast forming directly over the dateline Monday (10/29), the remnants of a tropical system that is to try and from off Japan Saturday (10/27) then moving northeast. Winds are forecast at 45 kts in it's west quadrant aimed mostly south, and therefore a bit west of the Hawaiian Islands with seas building to 26 ft late Tuesday. Some potential for utility class swell for Hawaii if this develops, which is highly unlikely this far in advance.
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 yet another impressive late season gale is forecast building east of New Zealand from the remnants of what might be Storm #6S due south of Hawaii starting Monday (10/29). Pressure to be 948 mbs with 45-50 kts winds over a large area generating up to 46 ft seas mid-Tuesday near 47S 150W aimed right at California up the 198 degree path and 25 degrees east of the 175 degree path to Hawaii. But this is a long ways off and far from certain. Still it's something to monitor just the same.
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