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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: November 11, 2006 3:44 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
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Swell Potential Rating = 3.8 - California & 0.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Winter' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)
Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    
Issued for Week of Monday 11/13 thru Sun 11/19
Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Utility swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of Utility swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

More Limited Gulf Activity
Weak West Pacific Pattern to Continue

 

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Saturday (11/11) Northern CA surf was 1.5-2 times overhead and unorganized with rain and wind making a mess of things early. 1-3 ft overhead with northwest wind on it fairly early. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist to chest high. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were near flat with top spots waist high on the sets. The LA Area southward to Orange County had surf up to thigh high at the better breaks. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist high. The North Shore of Oahu was near flat. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was waist high.

Hawaii's Northern Shores were not doing much of anything and the South Shore was even worse. California was on the upswing with swell from the Gulf starting to how in the north end of the state and expected to filter down into Southern CA by Sunday. This initial push is expected to be followed by more similar energy from a string of poorly defined lows track generally from north of Hawaii into the Pacific Northwest then wrapping up into the Northern Gulf of Alaska. But no defined long period swell event is suggested, but rather just steady well rideable north angled swell through the week into next weekend assuming local winds are favorable. Hawaii to be mostly out of the swell window from any Gulf gales, though little bit's of small windswell from the early phases of these systems might push something south. See details below...

 

SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Overview
Saturdays jetstream charts (11/11) was much the same as days previous with a steady flow pushing off Japan, dipping over the dateline then rising gently over a broad ridge pushing into the Pacific Northwest. Winds were up to 150 kts in pockets in the west, then down to 120 kts over the east.Bu the big issues was a major split in the jet starting now over Japan, tracking due north and passing north of the Bering Sea, then starting to dive south over Western Alaska but never quite joining up with the main flow. This essentially was forming a big high pressure ridge over the western half of the North Pacific and dampening the potential for storm development there, with the remaining wet flow pushing into the US West Coast. Over the next 72 hours through Tuesday (11/12) the trough on the dateline to slowly track east and fade reaching a point just north of Hawaii on Tuesday while the ridge off California builds with winds reaching 190 kts pushing into Oregon and Washington. Maybe limited support for gale development in the little trough. But the big issue is to remain the split jet flow over Japan pushing well north of the Bering Sea, cutting off a vital supply of energy from surface level gale development. Beyond 72 hours the split pattern is to become even more obvious with a giant bubble of dead air centered over the dateline as the jet separates off Japan riding over the dateline into the Bering Sea, then dives south through the Gulf of Alaska rejoining the main flow and roaring into the Pacific Northwest. Only a small pocket in the Northern Gulf to really have any hope for gale development, getting a bit better defined Wednesday (11/15) into next weekend.

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs was just off Cape Mendocino CA providing a brief dry out for the PAcific Northwest, but that to be short lived. Another high at 1032 mbs was just off the Kamchatka Peninsula and was falling south towards the dateline. A small pocket of low pressure was tracking from north from Hawaii bound for the Gulf, but in all no swell generation potential was indicated. Over the next 72 hours the current pocket of low pressure is to build slightly and push into the Pacific Northwest early Monday with 35 kt west winds and 20 ft seas providing more raw moderate swell for California and location north of there. Another similar system to be right on it's tail Tues/Wed (11/15) with up to 40 kt winds and 23 ft seas, but in all pretty unremarkable. Fleeting 30 kt north winds off the back side of both these system to direct some windswell south towards HAwaii, but that is to be minimal (see QuikCAST's for details). But nothing of any interest is expected otherwise over the greater North Pacific.

 

Another Gulf Storm
On Thursday AM (11/9) another low developed in the Northern Gulf with pressure 980 mbs and winds confirmed at 45-50 kts positioned at 47N 142W aimed right down the 308 degree great circle path to San Francisco. Seas 20 ft and building. By evening pressure dropped to 968 mbs with winds holding at 50 kts but covering a larger area terminating at 50N 143W aimed right down the 315 degree path to North CA with seas up to 27 ft at the same location. The storm stalled and lift lightly north by Friday AM (11/10) with 40-50 kt winds fading at 51N 142W aimed well at NCal down the 318 degree path, on the very edge of the swell window relative to San Francisco effectively out of the swell window for locations south of there. Seas were modeled at 29 ft at the same locale. The core of the low was starting to fade after that though a broad secondary fetch of 35 kt northwest winds remains forecast covering much of the Gulf aimed well at California and the Pacific Northwest from 48N 145W generating seas at 25 ft through the day Saturday pushing shorter period energy south towards the entire US West Coast.

The swell started hitting buoy 46005 well off the Washington coast at 7 AM with seas 20 ft and swell up to 15-17 ft @ 13 secs holding there through noon, then down to the 11-12 ft range at 13 secs in the afternoon. Swell started hitting buoy 46002 off Oregon about 1 PM right on track.

This storm to be not much different from those that have preceded it, but maybe pushing a bit more energy on a slightly less north direction towards the California coast. Still, wind speed to be moderate and seas barely reaching the 30 ft mark, and that for only a few hours. This one will likely be good for more very north angled swell pushing south into North California mid-Saturday AM with swell peaking near 4 PM at 8.4 ft @ 13-14 secs (10-11 ft faces) from 310-315 degrees then into Central CA later in the afternoon peaking near 10 PM at 6 ft @ 13-14 secs (7-8 ft faces). Whatever energy can wrap into exposed north facing breaks of South CA expected to arrive early Sunday (11/12) at 2.8 ft @ 13 secs (3.5 ft faces with best spots to 6 ft).

 

Tropics
Typhoon Chebi had passed over the northern Philippines and had winds 90 kts, tracking due west. It is expected to continue on this track pushing towards North Vietnam and fading 5 days out.

 

North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Saturday (11/11) high pressure at 1026 mbs was building in driving brisk north winds behind a front that pushed down the NCal coast earlier in the morning. That to be short lived though as a calm patch before the next front settles in Sunday, then another weak front moves through Monday (weaker in Central CA) with the usual cycle of south winds prior to it's passage followed by north winds. A calmer pattern to follow through the rest of the week with most weather isolated from Oregon northward, through things to remain quite wet and windy up there.

 

South Pacific

Overview
A
t the surface and through the next 72 hours there were no indications of any swell producing fetch in the South Pacific.

 

South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height

 

QuikCAST's

 

LONG-TERM FORECAST
Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours another low to develop Wednesday (11/15) in the far north Gulf of Alaska with pressure down to 972 mbs and a broad fetch of 35-40 kt northwest winds and 25 ft seas pushing towards the Pacific Northwest and California into Thursday then fading, only to weakly re-energize next weekend as strong high pressure at 1036 mbs drifts slowly east to the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutian Islands, choking off the storm corridor there. So the Gulf to be the only semi fertile ground in the Pacific, and even that is limited.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is indicated.

Details to follow...


MAVERICKSSURF MAVFILM MAVSURFER SURFPULSE TOWSURFER

Local Interest

New Book: Inside Mavericks - Portrait of a Monster Wave: Ace photographer Doug Acton, cinematographer Grant Washburn and San Francisco Chronicle writer Bruce Jenkins have teamed up to present an insiders view of Mavericks. Read all the first hand accounts from Peter Mel, Ken 'Skin Dog' Collins, Grant Washburn, Mark Renniker and the rest of the gang as they describe the game of surfing one of the largest waves in the world, fully illustrated with the hauntingly artistic images from Doug Acton, long-time Mavericks lensman. There's even a section featuring Stormsurf! Get your autographed copy here: http://www.insidemavericks.com/

Towsurfers & Paddle-in Surfers - Participate in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: The draft EIR for the new Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary management plan has been released. Public comment will be accepted until January 7, 2007. The link provided has all of the information that is pertinent to anyone wishing to participate in the crafting of the new regulations. It cannot emphasize enough the importance of making your comments part of the public record as such comments will be used to re evaluate the proposed regulations before inclusion into the final EIR. This will be the public's last and best chance to shape regulations in our Monterey Bay. If you are passionate about what you do, direct that passion into active participation in this process. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/involved.html

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

New Stormsurf Local Wave Models: Nine months in development and testing, Stormsurf is proud to announce the release of our upgraded local wave models. More locations, more fidelity, more variables imaged including sea height, swell period, wind speed & direction, and wave height plus the older style composite images of surf height and wind all updated 4 times daily. Check them out here: http://www.stormsurf.com/mdls/menu_wam.html

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's simple and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet Explorer Homepage, just click the link below and a buoy forecast will be added to your Google homepage. Defaults to Half Moon Bay CA. If you want to select a different location, just click on the word 'edit', and a list of alternate available locations appears. Pick the one of your choice. Content updates 4 times daily. A great way to see what waves are coming your way!
http://www.google.com/ig/add?moduleurl=http://www.stormsurf.com/gadget/stormsurf .xml

Free Stormsurf Stickers - Get your free stickers! - More details Here

Read all the latest news and happenings on our News Page here

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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