On Sunday (10/29) Northern CA surf was chest to head high and not particularly good. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to waist high. Central California surf was pushing waist high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were lucky to reach waist high with most spots flat. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high on the sets. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to chest high on the sets. The North Shore of Oahu was 2-3 ft overhead. The South Shore was waist to shoulder high. The East Shore was 1-2 ft overhead.
Hawaii was the hot spot for the day by virtue of actually having some surf. New windswell from the Gulf of Alaska was pushing south with the first bits of it starting to hit and expected to come up from there holding through the middle of the week. Things heading down on the South Shore though. The northern part of California was getting leftover swell from a gale that was in the far north Gulf of Alaska mid-last week, but nothing of interest was hitting further south. Low pressure in some form is to hold over the southern Gulf of Alaska pushing swell towards HAwaii through early Monday, then deteriorate while swinging east trying to push something towards California, but never quite getting there till next weekend, when theoretically some seas of interest are to finally be generating pushing towards the coast. At the same time low pressure is to finally set up off Japan as the jetstream builds there, possible generating a gale and maybe some seas targeting Hawaii from across the dateline. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (10/29) indicated a very weak flow over the North Pacific, and split at that with the northern branch pushing weakly through the Bering Sea and the southern branch quite fragmented pushing off Japan, fading, the reorganizing somewhat over Hawaii pushing into Baja Mexico. No winds stronger that 110 kts were indicated over the entire North Pacific, and that only in small pockets. Over the next 72 hours through Wednesday (11/1) a split pattern to persist but the northern branch is to be very weak, with more energy filtering into the southern branch as it become dominant. A stronger flat zonal flow is to set up there with winds to 120 pushing off Japan due east then fading but retaining cohesiveness while tracking into Central CA. No trough's or ridges of interest were indicated. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast but with the southern branch gaining better energy with 110-120 kt winds flowing solid from Japan up to Hawaii, dropping into a slight trough east of there then rising steeply northeast into British Columbia. No big troughs supportive of significant gale development indicated, but this pattern is looking much more favorable for eventual development than in the weeks prior.
At the surface today low pressure was north of Hawaii generating swell pushing towards the Islands [see Gulf Low below]. High pressure at 1034 mb was wedged between it and Alaska giving the low nowhere to go. The high was ridging up to the Pacific northwest coast generating a moderate 20-25 kt north flow along the coast there down into Pt Arena California, but not generating any windswell of interest. Otherwise another strong 1032 mbs high was over the dateline south of the Aleutians totally blocking the Aleutian storm corridor into the Gulf of Alaska. Over the next 72 hours the low north of Hawaii is to slowly drift east with it's fetch becoming more aligned along a east-west track, with most swell production occurring in the lows north quadrant and forming a gradient with high pressure in the Northern Gulf aimed west towards the Kuril Islands. This is of no interest for our forecast area. Through Wednesday the south quadrant of the low is to slowly get slightly more organized with winds to 35 kts forecast there on Wednesday (11/1) targeting California with 15 ft seas (not much).
Gulf Low - Hawaii
North winds at 25-30 kts were off the east side of high pressure well north of the Hawaiian Islands Friday (10/27) generating 20 ft seas in the vicinity of 37N 155W tracking south. Saturday AM (10/28) a 996 mb low started to form along the stalled frontal boundary 900 nmiles north-northeast of the Islands. Winds were confirmed at 50 kts over a tiny area aimed directly at the Islands then fading to 40 kts by nightfall. Seas modeled at 25 ft @ 40N 150W tracking south. Residual 40 kts winds were indicated early Sunday morning then fading out with seas building to 29 ft @ 42N 153W directly targeting Hawaii from 1200 nmiles away. Seas to be decaying along with winds Sunday evening from 27 ft. North windswell from the earlier fetch is already hitting the Hawaiian Islands, expected to continue into Monday with swell 8-9 ft @ 11 secs (9 ft faces). Then the real swell from the low is expected to reach north facing shores starting Tuesday (10/31) before sunrise with swell up to 10 ft @ 13-14 secs midday (12-14 ft faces) from 5 degrees. Swell decaying Wednesday (11/1) from 7.8 ft @ 11 secs (7-8 ft faces) and heading down from there.
Super Typhoon Cimaron was pushing over the Northern Philippines Sunday AM (10/29) with winds 140 kts. And continued westward track is forecast with the storm stabilizing at 105 kts and pushing into the North/South Vietnam boarder area on Friday (11/3).
Otherwise no named tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (10/29) moderate high pressure was in the Northern Gulf of Alaska seeping south along the California coast setting up a light northerly flow and breaking up the pristine weather pattern than had been in control days previously. No windswell producing fetch indicated, just a light northwest flow continuing as this same general pattern holds through Monday. Then low pressure north of Hawaii to start pushing east having an impact on the picture further out. South winds to move into North and Central CA Wednesday (Monterey Bay northward), first bout of the season, holding through Friday (11/3) as the low pushes into the Pacific Northwest. Then high pressure to get a grip, holding through the following weekend as more low pressure queues up for the Gulf and the Pacific Northwest.
On Sunday (10/29) at the surface and through the next 72 hours there were no indications of any swell producing fetch from the South Pacific.
2nd, 3rd & 4th South CA Pulses
On Tuesday (10/24) a tiny 960 mbs low was on the eastern edge of the California swell window just off the edge of Antarctic Ice generating a small area of 40-45 kt winds aimed northeast towards California up the 190 degree great circle path and holding through evening. 30 ft seas were modeled by evening at 55S 138W building to 32 ft Wed AM at 52S 130W. This low to tracked east with fetch fading as it pushed out of the SCal swell window. A second low formed in the same region Wed PM (10/25) generating 45 kts southwest winds aimed again well towards SCal producing 32 ft seas at 55S 120W expected to continue into the evening with 32 ft seas pushing out of the swell window from 50S 110W. Yet a third pulse developed Fri/Sat generating 32 ft seas Sat midday at 54S 115W then pushing totally out of the Scal swell window. Some form of small but continuous swell likely for exposed south facing breaks in Southern California starting Thursday (11/2) at 2 ft @ 16 secs (3 ft faces from 180 degrees) and continuing at that height into the following weekend.
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 the models suggest the overall picture is to become brighter, with a greater propensity for storm development. High pressure currently choking the dateline is to lift north and into the Bering Sea opening up the pipeline from the Kuril Islands and Japan eastward. Theoretically a semi real gale is to develop just west of the dateline next weekend (Sat 11/4) with 40 kts winds targeting Hawaii. Will see what actually happens. Also low pressure well off California is to slowly track east pushing into the Pacific Northwest Thursday (11/2) with south winds at 25 kts raking the coast but doing little more than generating southerly windslop. But this los, though not a swell producer, could be a primer for more energy to follow. Theoretically the models indicate a second low developing right behind it Sat/Sun (11/5) filling the entire Gulf of Alaska. No clear swell producing fetch is indicated, this is a step in the right direction.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.
Details to follow...
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Stormsurf Iceberg Breakup Analysis/Decide for Yourself: There been some debate concerning the facts around the breakup of Iceberg B15A. Here's a short exercise that helps to drive out the facts around the research: http://www.stormsurf.com/page2/news/ice_wam.shtml
Stormsurf Supports Antarctic Iceberg Breakup Study: CNN is reporting the story of a storm in the Gulf of Alaska in Fall of 2005 that contributed to the breakup of Antarctic Iceberg B15A. We all know that South Pacific storms produce swells that provide surf for California in the summer, but has anyone considered the implications of what monster winter storms in the North Pacific do to the South Pacific? That is the subject of a research paper by professor Doug MacAyeal from the University of Chicago. He and his team traveled to Antarctica and instrumented a series of icebergs with seismometers to see if they could understand what causes icebergs to break up, and their findings are insightful. And best of all, Stormsurf contributed data in support of their research (and received authorship credits to boot). This is a great example of how the science of surfing interacts with other pure science disciplines. All the details are available in this months edition of 'Geophysical Research Letters' and the synopsis is available here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/10/02/iceberg.cracks.reut/index.html
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table