Monday, November 27, 2017
- Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 11.9 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 8.6 ft @ 10.4 secs from 20 degrees.
- Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 4.4 ft @ 5.0 secs with swell 3.1 ft @ 5.5 secs from 279 degrees. Wind at the buoy was west at 23-27 kts. Water temperature 63.1 degs. At Ventura (Buoy 111) swell was 4.5 ft @ 5.7 secs from 269 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 4.4 ft @ 5.8 secs from 281 degrees. At Camp Pendleton (043) swell was 1.0 ft @ 12.7 secs from 221 degrees. Southward at Pt Loma (191) swell was 1.5 ft @ 13.9 secs from 246 degrees.
- Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 12.5 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 8.0 ft @ 13.5 secs from 306 degrees. Wind at the buoy was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 58.3 degs.
Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)
Swell Classification Guidelines
Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
Summer - Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
Summer - Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
Summer - up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.
Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.
On Monday (11/27) in North and Central CA swell from the Gulf of Alaska was producing waves at 3-4 ft overhead and pretty warbled through not whitecapped. Protected breaks were 1-2 ft overhead and a bit jumbled but again not whitecapped. At Santa Cruz surf was head high to 1 ft overhead and warbled with wind lump firmly in control. In Southern California up north surf was waist to chest high and a mess with heavy whitecaps in control. In North Orange Co surf was waist high pushing maybe chest high coming from the north and whitecapped and weak. In South Orange Country best breaks were thigh to waist high and heavily textured from the north. In San Diego surf was knee high and clean. Hawaii's North Shore was getting more northerly swell from the Gulf of Alaska at 3-4 ft overhead on the face and pretty ragged from stiff northeast winds. The South Shore had some waist high sets and clean. The East Shore was getting north-northeast swell at 3-4 ft overhead and chopped from northeast wind.
See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.
On Monday (11/27) swell from the last cutoff gale in the Gulf of Alaska was hitting Hawaii and California, but no clean conditions were to be found in either location. A stronger system developed over the North Dateline region Sun (11/26) pushing quickly to the extreme Northwestern Gulf with seas building to 52 ft and was continuing east Mon-Tues (11/28) with seas fading from 42 ft. Another gale was building over the North Dateline region Mon (11/27) with seas forecast to 37 ft in the evening and is to build more into Tues PM (11/28) with seas to 41 ft aimed east and pulse again Wed (11/29) with 42 ft seas. Another small gale is to follow in the Northwestern Pacific Thurs (11/30) with 32 ft seas pushing to the North Dateline region. And another is forecast behind that in the Northern Gulf on Sun (12/3). So an improved swell pattern is projected but all these systems are to be displaced well north near the Aleutian Islands.
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
On Monday AM (11/27) the jetstream was pushing east off Japan and almost splitting with secondary energy pushing over the North Kuril Islands, then merging west of the dateline forming a trough with winds building to 170 kts offering support for gale development there. The jet split weakly on the dateline with the northern branch continuing east with winds 130 kts forming another trough in the Western Gulf also offering support for gale development. The southern branch tracked southeast over Hawaii and east joining the northern branch in yet another trough that was pushing inland over North and Central CA. So a fairly active pattern was in play. Over the next 72 hours both the dateline trough and the Gulf trough are to push east, with the Gulf trough moving inland over Washington on Tues (11/28) and the dateline trough making it to the Western Gulf and moderating there Wed (11/29) then fading out. Beyond 72 hours the jet is to weaken on the dateline Thurs (11/30) and split while more wind energy builds over Japan to 160 kts and pushing east pulling the jet together from Japan all the way to the dateline by Fri (12/1) and then to 170W later Sun (12/3) offering generic support for gale development though not clearly defined troughs are forecast. The jet is to be weakly split east of there but not strongly with a trough forecast building in the Western Gulf on Mon (12/40 being fed by up to 160 kts winds possibly offering support for gale development in lower levels of the atmosphere.
On Monday (11/27) swell from the final backdoor gale previously in the Gulf of Alaska was hitting Hawaii and California (see Final Backdoor Gale below). A far stronger system developed behind on the North Dateline region with swell now in the water pushing southeast (see North Dateline Storm below).
Over the next 72 hours starting Mon AM (12/27) another gael was developing over the North Dateline region producing 45 kt northwest winds over a small area starting to get traction on an already well roughed up ocean surface. In the evening winds are to be holding at 40-45 kt from the northwest and growing in coverage with 36 ft seas at 46.5N 179E aimed east. On Tues AM (11/28) fetch is to build in coverage at 40-45 kts from the northwest with a broader area of 35 ft seas taking shape at 45.5N 168W aimed east. Fetch is to fade some in the evening but still 40-45 kts from the west with seas to 41 ft up at 50N 165W. Fetch is to build Wed AM (11/29) to 50 kts just south of the Eastern Aleutians with 36 ft seas holding at 51N 165W. In the evening 45 kt northwest winds are to be falling southeast some with seas 41 ft at 50N 160W. Thurs AM (11/30) northwest fetch is to be fading from 35-40 kts falling southeast with 34 ft seas fading at 48N 154W. In the evening 35 kt northwest fetch is to be fading with 29 ft seas fading at 47.5N 148W. This system is to be fading from there. Another north angled swell look possible for Hawaii but mainly focused on the Pacific Northwest.
North Dateline Storm
On Sat PM (11/25) a storm started building over the North Dateline region with 60-65 kt west winds and seas building from 38 ft at 49N 176E over a small area aimed east. On Sun AM (11/26) the storm was moving 50/50 over the East Aleutians/Bering Sea with up to 55 kt northwest winds still south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas to 52 ft over a tiny area at 51N 172W. In the evening 50 kt northwest winds were pushing from the Bering Sea into the extreme Northwestern Gulf of Alaska with 49 ft seas at 53N 171W. On Monday AM (11/27) residual 45-50 kt west fetch was holding just south of the Eastern Aleutians with seas fading from 41 ft at 51N 163W (308 degs NCal). In the evening west fetch is to be fading from 40 kts and seas fading from 36 ft at 54N 155W. On Tues AM (11/28) this system is to be gone. Swell is in the water pushing southeast.
Hawaii: Expect swell arrival on Tues AM (11/28) building to 3.6 ft @ 17-18 secs (6.0 ft). Swell building some overnight peaking Wed AM (11/29) at 5.2 ft @ 14-15 secs (7.5 ft). Swell Direction: 335 degrees
North CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (11/29) pushing 10 ft @ 18 secs late but totally shadowed in the SF Bay Area and size far less at shadowed breaks. Swell fading some Thurs (11/30) from 9.2 ft @ 16-17 secs (15 ft) and still shadowed in the SF Bay area. Residuals on Fri (12/1) fading from 7.8 ft @ 15 secs (11.5 ft). Swell Direction: 308-311 degrees.
Final Backdoor Gale
Another system started moving from the East Bering Sea into the Northern Gulf on Thurs PM (11/23) with 40 kt northwest winds and seas building from 28 ft at 53N 158W. Fri AM (11/24) 40 kt northwest winds were pushing southeast into the Northern Gulf with seas building to 30 ft at 49N 152W (308 degs NCal). Fetch was fading while falling southeast in the evening from 30-35 kts with 26 ft seas at 47N 149W (307 degs NCal). Fetch was fading in coverage at 30+ kts from the northwest on Sat AM (11/25) with seas fading from 21 ft over a moderate sized area at 45N 148W aimed southeast (300 degs NCal). In the evening fetch is to start rebuilding at 35 kts from the northwest well off the NCal coast with 23 ft seas at 44N 150W (297 degs NCal) aimed southeast at the Central CA coast. The front is to be off the NCal coast Sun AM (11/26) with northwest winds 35-40 kts and seas 25 ft at 39N 144W (285 degs NCal, 294 degs SCal). This secondary fetch to pushing east in the evening at 35-40 kt from the northwest just off San Francisco with 26 ft seas at 38N 134W (295 degs SCal) and impacting the Central Coast Mon (11/27) through the day and fading from 23 ft off Central CA. Something to monitor.
North CA: Swell to fade overnight dropping from 6.4 ft @ 14 secs secs (9.0 ft) on Mon (11/27) while local windswell and raw local proto swell starts building on top to 9.5 ft @ 15 secs later (14.0 ft). Swell fading quickly on Tues (11/28) from 7.8 ft @ 12 secs (9.0 ft). Swell Direction: 308 degs moving to 298-300 degrees
Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Mon (11/27) building to 3.0 ft @ 16 secs later (4.5 ft). Swell to rebuild overnight pushing 5.0 ft @ 14 secs secs (7.0 ft) on Tues (11/28). Swell fading quickly on Wed (11/29) from 2.9 ft @ 11-12 secs (3.0 ft). Swell Direction: 312 degs moving to 295 degrees
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
No tropical systems of interest were being monitored.
California Nearshore Forecast
On Monday AM (11/27) weak low pressure was pushing inland over California with high pressure queued up off the coast. Winds were northwest 10 kts down to Pt Conception and 15-20 kts from there down into Southern CA except San Diego. 6 inches of snow fell overnight in the Tahoe area and 7 inches at Kirkwood. Northwest winds to be 15 kts for all of CA by the afternoon and up to 20 kts for Pt Conception. Tues (11/28) high pressure is to be building into the coast from the west with north winds 15-20 kts from Cape Mendocino southward early. Light rain for Cape Mendocino pushing to Pt Arena late afternoon. Wednesday a new high pressure system builds off the North Coast ridging into the Pacific Northwest with a north winds 20-25 kts for outer waters of all of North and Central CA. On Thurs (11/30) north winds to continue over outer waters from Pt Arena southward through less nearshore. More of the same on Friday too through limited to Central CA and shrinking in coverage through the day. Sat (12/2) a light wind pattern is forecast early building from the north 20 kts pushing south to Pt Reyes at sunset with rain pushing south down to the Golden Gate after dark. Light snow for Tahoe overnight. Sunday (12/3) new high pressure takes control with north winds 20-25 kts for all of North and Central CA. Rain dispersing early for Cape Mendocino. Monday (12/4) northeast winds 10 kts for the entire state is forecast.
No swell producing winds of interest were occurring.
Over the next 72 hours no swell producing weather systems of interest are 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 starting Thurs AM (11/30) another small gale is forecast developing while pushing east off the Northern Kuril Islands with 40 kt west winds and 32 ft seas forecast at 48N 160E. A solid area of 40 kt west winds are to continue east into the evening just south of the Western Aleutians with 32 ft seas at 49N 167E. On Fri AM (12/1) fetch is to be fading from 40 kt just south of the Aleutians on the dateline with seas fading from 30 ft at 50N 172E. In the evening 35 kt west winds are to be over the North Dateline region and fading with 27 ft seas fading at 50N 180W aimed east. Something to monitor.
Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather system nor fetch is forecast.
More details to follow...
La Nina Stable - Cool Pool Solid and Unwavering
The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).
Overview: La Nina started developing in early 2016, but westward displaced and generally weak. And by March 2017, it was gone with suspicious warming developing along South America and over the Galapagos to a point south of Hawaii. By May the atmosphere returned to a neutral configuration but then in July east anomalies started building in the KWGA and have not stopped, with cold water upwelling over the the Nino1.2 and 3.4 areas, indicative of La Nina. So it appears now a double dip La Nina is setting up and is to continue through the Winter and Spring of 2017-2018.
KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast:
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of Fri (11/26) 5 day average winds were from the east over the entire equatorial Pacific but calm in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area. Anomalies were neutral over the East Pacific and light east over the Central Pacific then neutral to light west over the Western KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): (11/27) Moderate east anomalies were modeled over the core of the Eastern KWGA and weak easterly over the core of the KWGA. This situation to hold with east anomalies building 2 days out over the East KWGA to the strong category but with west anomalies also building starting 11/30 in the Western KWGA with intensity pushing to the moderate category by 12/2 and holding. The Inactive Phase of the MJO appears to be moving east and the Active Phase of the MJO appears to be forecast to build in the west.
Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East
Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:
OLR Models: As of 11/26 a neutral MJO pattern was in control of the equatorial far West Pacific with a weak Inactive/Dry signal over the dateline. The statistical model depicts the Active/Wet Phase developing 5 days out in the far West Pacific and building to modest strength at the end of the model run 15 days out with good coverage in the West Pacific while the Inactive/Dry signal on the dateline dissipates. The dynamic model depicts the exact same thing.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (11/27) The ECMF model depicts the Active Phase of the MJO weak over the West Maritime Continent and is to push slowly east into the West Pacific 2 weeks out. The GEFS model suggests much the same but a bit stronger than the ECMF.
40 day Upper Level Model: (11/26) This model depicts a weak Inactive/Dry MJO pattern over the far East Pacific and gone by 11/30. A weak Active/Wet pattern is to develop in the West Pacific 11/30 and slowly ease east pushing into the far East Pacific 12/20. A slightly stronger Inactive/Dry MJO signal is to follow starting in the West Pacific 12/15 and tracking east to the East Pacific through the end of the model run on 1/4/18 (40 days out). This model runs about 1 week ahead of what happens at the surface.
CFS Model - 3 month (850 mb wind): (11/27) This model depicts a very weak Inactive Phase of the MJO was migrating east while weakening over the KWGA with near neutral anomalies over the Central KWGA. The Inactive Phase is to continue migrating east and hold through 12/13 with east anomalies forecast over the East KWGA until 12/15 and weak west anomalies in pockets in the West KWGA from 12/7-12/15. A weak Active Phase of the MJO is to develop in the far West Pacific 12/13 fading some on 12/30 with weak west anomalies in the KWGA. After that the Active Phase of the MJO is to reappear 1/12/18 and holding in the KWGA through 1/30 with stronger west anomalies in the core of the KWGA. A weak Inactive Phase to follow 2/5 through the end of the model run on 2/24/18 with weak west anomalies holding in the KWGA. The low pass filter indicates a modest low pressure bias over the extreme west KWGA and it is to ease east filling 75% of the KWGA by 1/28 then pushing hard east from there. A high pressure bias is over the East KWGA at 170E and is to move east into the East Pacific and only 15% remaining in the KWGA by Feb 1 and tracking east from there. If this verifies, the underpinnings of La Nina are to be fading and then gone by late December. This suggest that as winter builds (typically the peak of La Nina in the jan timeframe), support for La Nina is to be fading. But it takes 3 months for the ocean to respond to whatever happens in the atmosphere, so this winter is lost to La Nina regardless of what the low pass filter indicates. No significant oceanic change is expected until likely early April 2018. Even at that it will take about 5 years for the Pacific to recharge from the 2014-16 El Nino before another El Nino develops. So a neutral ENSO pattern is likely to develop.
CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc
Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (11/27) A pattern change set up in August, with warm water retreating to the west and cooler water building in the east. Today in the far West Pacific water temps are 30 degs in the far West Pacific at 165E. The 28 deg isotherm line is holding at 177W. The 24 deg isotherm was weak and has retrograded to 135W and shallow at 60 meters deep at 140W. Anomaly wise a clear change is present in the East Pacific with warm water gone and instead neutral to modestly negative temperatures are at the surface and down to -2 degs C down 100 meters at between 95-180W indicative of La Nina. Warm anomalies are isolated to the West Pacific at +2.0 degrees down to 100 meters deep with the dividing line between cool temps retrograded west to 180W. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 11/19 depicts a large area of subsurface cool water filling the East Pacific (-4.0 degs) and erupting to the surface in broad pockets between 90W to 170W with a near neutral temperature pattern in the west.
Sea Level Anomalies: (11/19) Negative anomalies are in control at -5 cms over the entire equatorial East Pacific with a core of -10 cm anomalies present between Ecuador to 155W.
Surface Water Temps: The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (11/26) The latest images (1.2 3.4) indicate a clear cool pattern is in control. Upwelling continues along Peru and Ecuador but not as strong as day past then tracking west and strong on the equator out to 160W with a well defined cool pool evidenced. The cool pool continues west from there but not as strong. No warm anomalies are indicated within 3+ degs north or south of the equator over the entire region.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (11/26): A warming trend was still in place along Peru. A modest cooling trend was indicated in pockets along the equatorial Pacific from the Galapagos west to 140W. La Nina is pulsing again.
Hi-res Overview: (11/26) Regardless of the short term warming trend indicated above, a clear La Nina cool stream is present starting off Southern Chile pushing north up Peru and building in coverage, then turning northwest off Ecuador tracking west over the Galapagos and building out to 160W and stable. Weak cool anomalies continued west from there out to 180W. Cool water at depth is erupting to the surface with the breach point near the Galapagos. There is no sign of warm anomalies in the Nino 1.2 or Nino3.4 regions.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (11/27) Today's temps were falling some to -1.658, again heading down towards the -2.248 low point reached on 11/5. And that low point was lower than the previous coldest point reached on 10/11 at -1.9 degs.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps: Today (11/27) temps were inching up at -0.761, just above the coldest peak so far this La Nina on 11/22 at -1.156. A previous low peak was reached at -1.1 on 11/23. The long arc suggests a steadying pattern. La Nina is in control.
CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 SST Anomalies
SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (11/27) The forecast has temps falling steadily from -0.75 in early Nov to -1.0 in late Dec and holding there through mid-Jan. Then a weak upward trend is suggested with temps reaching -0.6 in April and -0.4 degs in July 2018 and holding there. This suggests a legit La Nina is expected for the Winter of 2017-2018. The CFS SST images (11/05) continues to suggest a moderate La Nina cool pattern building on the equator off the Galapagos into Dec-Jan 2018, then fading but still very present into May 2018. A full on La Nina is setting up.
IRI Consensus Plume: The mid-Oct Plume updated (11/7) depicts temps forecast to fade -0.7 degs in Oct and holding through Dec, then slowly rising from there turning neutral in April 2018. See chart here - link The NMME consensus for Oct average indicates temps -0.85 degrees below normal Nov-Jan 2018 then rebounding to normal in April. It sure looks like La Nina is on the way. The CFSv2 is now in the middle of that pack.
Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (11/27): The daily index was rising at 19.21. The 30 day average was steady at 8.06. The 90 day average was rising slightly at +8.27. This suggests a turn towards La Nina.
ESPI (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive is good, negative bad): (11/27) The index was falling again at -1.32 (up from -2.20 on 6/28/17). The trend is generally stable for now. Last years La Nina reached -1.94 on 11/2/16 so we've bested that already. But the recent upward trend is offering some hope. Still it looks like La Nina is returning for a double dip/2 year La Nina (not unusual). This index is a forerunner of what happens in the ocean by 2-3 months in developing El Nino and La Nina events.
Pacific Decadal Oscillation: The PDO is weakly negative, but not as much as one would expect with La Nina in play.
Per NOAAs index recent values (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.10, Feb = +0.04, March = +0.12, April=+0.52, May=+0.30, June=+0.19, July= -0.50, Aug= -0.68, Sept = -0.28, Oct=-0.60. This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO, even with La Nina, because the warm PDO appears to be dampening the effects of La Nina. No consistently negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington EDU index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2017 = +0.77, Feb = +0.70, Mar = +0.74, April=+1.12, May=+0.88, June=+0.79, July=+0.10, Aug=0.09, Sept = 0.32, Oct=0.05 . No negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.
See imagery in the ENSO Powertool
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