On Sunday (11/11) Northern CA surf was head high to 2 ft overhead and blown to bits. Ocean Beach remains closed due to the oil spill. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were thigh to waist high with luck. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist to maybe chest high and blown out early. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh high and junked. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist high at the better breaks. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were thigh high and textured early. The North Shore of Oahu had some chest to was head high peaks and clean. The South Shore rarely had a few waist high peaks. The East Shore was thigh high.
North/Central California was blown to bits with residual northwest swell lurking under the chop. Southern California was getting minimal impulse class surf from the south with minimal northwest energy in between. Hawaii's North Shore was getting small swell from the dateline. Nothing was really happening on the East Shore or the South Shore. Down south a new little gale that developed under New Zealand Wed/Thurs of last week has generated a small swell that is pushing north towards Hawaii expected to arrive mid-week with some background energy possible for Southern California by the weekend. But more size is expected from the North Pacific courtesy of a gale that was over the dateline pushing energy into both Hawaii and Central CA on Monday (two different events) with a stronger system possibly forecast for the Northeastern Gulf of Alaska mid-week into the weekend favoring the mainland. A calmer pattern appears likely beyond, so make the most of what you can get over the next week. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Sundays jetstream charts (11/11) for the North Pacific indicated a decent flow pushing flat off Central Japan tracking across the width of the Pacific pushing into Northern CA. Winds were near 140 kts on the dateline building to near 190 kts 1500 nmiles west of Southern Oregon, then fading rapidly before limping over the coast. Something that almost resembled a trough was trying to set up over the dateline, but the stream was split west of there with some energy running through the Bering Sea. Only limited support for low pressure development in that area. Over the next 72 hours that trough is to track east but not get any better organized, looking best late Monday north of Hawaii before disintegrating off the Pacific Northwest coast 24 hours later. Limited support for low pressure development there. Beyond 72 hours a weak flat flow to continue on the 35N latitude with the jet showing signs of wanting to split apart but never quite doing it. But event that might just be a matter of time, with the first signs of a split showing up off Kamchatka late next weekend.
At the surface today weak high pressure at 1020 mbs was still positioned between Hawaii and Central California offering only light trades blowing over the Hawaiian Islands and now trying to push into the Golden State generating brisk northwest winds along the coast of Central CA. A 998 mb gale was tracking northeast through the Gulf of Alaska bound for the North Canadian Coast. This one actually developed on Saturday (11/10) and generated a fetch of 45-50 kt west winds and 23 ft seas near 46N 146W late before moving off Vancouver Island early Sunday with winds still in the 40-45 kts range and seas to 25 ft at 48N 140W, aimed reasonably well towards Central CA. Swell from this system hit buoy 46006 early Sunday with seas 15 ft @ 13 secs and swell 10 ft @ 12.5 secs. This ought to be good for swell of 6-7 ft @ 13 secs Monday in California north of Pt Conception (7-8 ft faces) from 300 degrees. Swell from the early incarnation of this system when it was over the dateline Thurs/Fri (11/9) with 30-35 kt west winds and seas at 25 ft Friday near 45N 160-180W ought to push into Hawaii Monday (11/12) at 6 ft @ 14 secs (8 ft faces).
Over the next 72 hours Another little low is to try and wind up right off southern Oregon late Sunday/early Monday (11/12) with 40 kts winds and 21 ft seas near 40N 133W, good for larger but raw swell for North and Central CA Tuesday at 9 ft @ 13 secs (10-11 ft faces) from 300 degrees with lingering shorter period residuals Wednesday. Also a tiny low at 1008 mbs is to form 800 nmiles north of Hawaii on Monday generating a short lived shallow fetch of 35 kt north winds aimed right at the Islands for 24 hours generating maybe 20 ft seas, good for some windswell on the North Shore Wednesday (11/14) at 6 ft @ 11 secs (6-7 ft faces) from 335 degrees. This system to continue east-northeast pushing into Oregon on Wednesday with 25-30 kt west winds over outer California waters, likely generating windswell there too.
No systems of interest were being tracked.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Sunday (11/11) high pressure at 1024 mbs was just off the Central CA coast generating a fetch of 20-25 kt north winds that was sweeping south from Pt Arena to Pt Conception making a windblown mess of things there. By Monday that's to be gone with a light flow over the north and 15 kt northeast winds over South CA. North winds at 15 kts are to be limited to a small area over Pt Conception. No big change is forecast and if anything weak winds are to continue over the area from Pt Arena southward into Southern CA through Friday (11/16), though there are hints of a northerly flow building over Southern CA for the the weekend as high pressure builds just off the coast there.
Sundays jetstream charts (11/11) for the South Pacific indicated a very weak flow and no support for surface level low pressure development. Over the next 72 hours a short-lived trough is forecast building under New Zealand Mon-Tues (11/13) but is to fade fast with a big ridge pushing south over the Ross Ice Shelf through the end of the week. Maybe another trough is forecast under New Zealand late in the weekend, but odds low.
At the oceans surface a calm wind pattern was in play. Over the next 72 hours no change is forecast, with the only wind indicated pushing south towards Antarctica.
On Thursday (11/8) a non-closed isobar low was sitting just southeast of New Zealand forming a pressure gradient with higher pressure at 1032 mbs centered southwest of Tasmania. The result was and has been a steady patch of 35-40 kt southwest winds near 50S 175E since early Wednesday (11/7) aimed well towards Hawaii up the 200 degree great circle path pushing to near 45 kt Wednesday evening, generating 29 ft seas Wed PM at 53S 165E peaking at 30 ft at 51S 175E Thursday AM. Another little pulse of 40 kts winds are forecast Thursday PM with seas holding in the 29-31 ft range at 46S 170W, then fading. Assuming all this develops (a likely scenario) expect a nice little pulse of summer time utility class swell with period at 15-16 secs arriving on Oahu's South Shore Thursday (11/15) with swell 2.3 ft @ 16-17 sec late (3.5-4.0 ft faces) holding into Friday. Swell Direction: 195-200 degrees
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 one more little gale wrapping up well north of Hawaii Wednesday (11/14) will most fetch aimed north, though 23 ft seas are to be pushing east, then tracking into the Northern Gulf late with some fetch developing in it's western quadrant at 40-45 kts near 50N 150W aimed towards North California down the 310 degree great circle path. 20-23 ft seas forecast. Then winds are to build to near 55 kts Thursday while drifting north to the 315 degree path to CA and holding there into Friday as it fades out, with winds down to 35 kts late. Near 30 ft seas pushing towards California and the Pacific Northwest coming from a rather northern angle. The net result is to be some form of swell for the PAcific Coast for the weekend assuming all goes as forecast (odds low).
Also low pressure is to be tracking off Japan at 992 mbs Tuesday into Wednesday (11/14) before fading on the dateline generating 35 kt west winds and 23-25 ft seas near 37N 160-175E likely good for some more 13 sec period swell for the Islands for the weekend.
Beyond strong high pressure at 1036 mbs to set up on the dateline with a 1028 mb high off California in the Southern Gulf of Alaska, likely shutting thing down for a while.
Beyond 72 hours the models suggest no low pressure or winds capable of generating interesting surf for our forecast area.
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