New Swell Classification Guidelines (Winter)
Significant: Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead)
Advanced: Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Intermediate: Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft)
Impulse/Windswell: Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
On Saturday (11/1) North/Central California was getting chest to head high blown out rain driven windchop. Southern California was getting occasional waist to chest high westerly windswell sets under heavily textured conditions. Hawaii's North Shore was getting more north windswell with waves in the waist to chest high range. The South Shore was near flat. The East Shore had waist to chest high north windswell, same one as the North Shore.
For Central California westerly raw windswell from a gale just off the coast is expected for Sunday and Monday providing surf pushing double overhead, but conditions to be lacking. Then size is to fade for the middle of the week. Southern CA to see a similar pattern with windswell coming up on Sunday into Monday, and with somewhat better conditions due to the protection of Pt Conception and the Channel Islands, then heading down for mid-week.The North Shore of Hawaii is to get a little more limited north windswell into Sunday, then fading out with nothing else for a few days. The South Shore of Hawaii is to remain essentially flat for the foreseeable future. The East Shore to see that same northerly windswell through Sunday, then fading out with no easterly windswell in the forecast. Longterm the only weather system of interest is a gale forecast for the dateline Mon/Tues (11/4) generating 28 ft seas aimed reasonably well towards both Hawaii and the US West Coast, possibly setting something up for the Islands on Thurs/Fri (11/7) and then pushing into the Mainland for the weekend. But that is only a guess at this early date. If you want to know the long term projection for the winter, take a look at the El Nino forecast. More details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Saturday (11/1) the North Pacific jetstream was gently arching over the dateline with winds 100 kts and unremarkable, then falling into a decent trough centered 600 nmiles off North CA with 140 kts winds falling into it. This was offering decent support for near gale development in the trough. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to push into California on Sunday with the ridge over the dateline building some, and offering no support for low pressure development. A split jetstream is to start building behind the ridge over Japan pushing to the dateline by Tuesday (11/4) suppressing gale development. Beyond 72 hrs that split flow is to track east and into the Gulf of Alaska on Thursday (11/6) while a healing consolidated flow builds again off Japan. That singular flow to push east to the dateline next weekend, but shows no signs of forming into any troughs of interest capable of supporting low pressure development.
At the surface today modest low pressure was off the Pacific Northwest pushing rain into the Pacific Northwest down into Central CA (see details below). Otherwise weak high pressure at 1024 mbs was north of Hawaii and a generally innocuous weather pattern was in-place. Over the next 72 hours a cutoff low is to form west of the dateline Monday with pressure 988 mbs generating 40 kt west winds, then pushing to the dateline Tuesday with west winds fading from 30-35 kts. Seas forecast to 28 ft Monday AM at 39N 172E fading from 27 ft in the evening at 39N 178E. Potential for limited swell pushing into Hawaii on Thursday (11/6) with swell 5.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (9 ft faces) fading Friday from 6 ft @ 13 secs (9-10 ft faces) from 315 degrees. Lesser energy for the US West coast late in the weekend.
Late on Thursday (10/30) low pressure off California started trying to build, with a closed isobar low of 996 mbs developing and 30 kt northwest winds forecast in it's southwest sector and 17 ft seas aimed at Southern and Central CA forecast at 37N 152W. By Friday AM (10/31) pressure dropped to 982 mbs with 35-40 kt west winds moving into it's south quadrant at 36N 142W, or due west of Monterey Bay, aimed at Central CA (282 degree path) generating 19 ft seas at 36N 145W. By evening 30-35 kt winds were wrapping under it's south quadrant just off the CA coast at 36N 135W 600 nmiles out) generating more 19 ft seas at 36N 137W pushing east and southeast (270 NCal - 280 SCal). By Saturday AM (11/1) the gale was lifting northeast with 35 kts northwest winds aimed right at Central CA at 42N 135W with 18 ft seas from previous fetch at 36N 132W, lifting further north in the evening with 20 ft seas at 43N 132W pushing down the 296 degree path to NCal. This low to continue lifting north and slowly shrinking while pushing inland over British Columbia Sunday producing less swell potential if anything at all.
Modest raw proto-swell expected to push into Central and South CA Sunday (11/2) with a more southerly windswell pushing up into the Pacific Northwest.
Expect swell of 8 ft @ 12 secs on Sunday in NCal/CCal (9-10 ft faces) from 270-280 degrees and Southern CA to see swell of 4.2 ft @ 12 secs (5 ft faces) with best breaks near 5 ft @ 13 secs (6.5 ft faces) from 285-290 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Nearshore Forecast
On Saturday (11/1) a gale low was just offshore Oregon pushing into the coast with fetch as far south as off Pt Conception. South winds and rain were impacting the same areas. The first real signs of winter have arrived. By Sunday the worst is to be over with a light southwesterly flow forecast from Monterey Bay northward, but turning more northerly south of there as high pressure tries to nose-in behind the front. Another short lived and weak front is forecast later Monday with rain down to Pt Conception in the early evening, then a drying and calmer pattern forecast. Southern California to possibly see northwest winds at 15-20 kts mainly over the Channel Islands Mon-Wed (11/5) attributable to the higher pressure building in there. North of the high (Cape Mendocino and above) a steady stream of weak low pressure systems are forecast to be pushing into the coast through the week with south winds and rain in control.
No tropical activity of interest was occurring.
At the oceans surface no swell producing fetch was occurring aimed at US targets. Over the next 72 hours no change is 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 a new gale is supposed to try and build in the Eastern Gulf of Alaska Fri/Sat (11/8), the remnants of the gale that was over the dateline days before. Winds to be 35 kts form the northwest aimed reasonably well at Central CA by Saturday with seas building. A boarder but unorganized gale is forecast also building over the dateline Saturday but with only 25 kt northwest winds and no real swell generation potential.
MJO/ENSO Update (reference): As of Saturday (11/1) the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) was in the Inactive phase. The Daily SOI index was up some to 12.09. The 30 day average was steady at 14.39 and the 90 day average was holding at 12.07. This is symptomatic of a weak La Nina. Winds anomalies at at the surface and the 850 mb level (approx 1000 ft up) indicated a broad but shrinking area of abnormal west winds extending from just east of the dateline eastward into Central America, exiting to the east. This was symptomatic of the inactive phase of the MJO. This to slowly fade out through Nov 8th, offering no enhancement for surface level low pressure development. Also currently the Active Phase of the MJO was building in the Indian Ocean starting to seep east into the equatorial North Pacific and expected to continue into the second week in November, then pushing over the dateline mid-month but incredibly weak. For now the Inactive Phase to slightly suppress storm development in the Northern Pacific, then the Active Phase to provide minimal enhancement for mid-November with luck.
No swell producing fetch forecast for the next 7 days.
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