On Tuesday (11/29) Northern CA surf was head high, windblown and rather uninviting. South facing breaks were up to waist high to 1 ft overhead. Central California surf was waist to chest high. Southern CA breaks from Santa Barbara to just north of LA were up to waist high at the best spots, with most near flat. The LA area southward into Orange County was up to waist high with some imagination. Southward to San Diego waves were waist high or less. The North Shore of Oahu was head high to 2 ft overhead. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore was chest to head high.
Hawaii is the only spot with any swell, with California blown out to the north and tiny to the south. No real change forecast anytime soon either. A series of weak to moderate gales are forecast tracking towards Hawaii from off Siberia while the California coast is forecast to only seeing varying degrees of windswell for the coming week. The jetstream is not providing much help, though there's signs that the pattern might be changing off Japan. See details below...
SHORT- TERM FORECAST
Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours
Tuesdays (11/29) jetstream analysis indicated moderate winds at 140 kts pushing straight east off Japan centered on the 35N latitude but splitting into two distinct streams just a bit offshore, with the northern branch pushing north over the Aleutians into the Bering Sea then southeast gradually pushing into North CA. The southern branch tracks over Hawaii then northeast up into North CA joining the northern branch of the jet there. This has been the situation for over a week now. The real problem is the split in the jet, shearing all real energy north towards the Bering Sea and leaving only unorganized surface level moisture to drift east over Hawaii and California. The result is no well organized surface level storms to generate surf. No real change is forecast through the next 72 hours. Beyond 72 hours starting Sunday (12/4) the jet is to start surging east off Japan with winds building to 170 and making good headway to the dateline before the split occurs, and then even further by next Tuesday (12/6) with winds up to near 190 kts reaching almost to Hawaii before showing signs of backing off. If this occur, it is assumed some semi-real storm energy will track further east into the North Pacific, though there are no signs of any significant troughs developing in the jet capable of supporting large scale storm development.
Today at the surface strong high pressure at 1036 mbs remained centered well north of Hawaii hanging near the Aleutian Islands and ridging southeast to nearly the California coast. A weak pocket of low pressure at 1006 mbs remained centered just north of the Hawaiian Islands with another stronger one at 992 mbs over the dateline. This low had confirmed winds at 40 to near 50 kts Monday AM (11/28) centered near 35N 164E that slowly faded through the evening (40-45 kts) and were down to and estimated 35-40 kts this AM. These winds were aimed well at Hawaii down the 310-312 great circle paths. Seas were modeled at 25 ft starting late Monday and expected to hold for 24 hours. This is good for some decent 13-14 sec period swell for Hawaii starting late Friday (12/2) into Satuday. See QuikCAST's for swell details.
Also lesser period swell from low pressure north of the Islands is expected to radiate south towards Hawaii. This swell is actually being generated by a pressure gradient caused by the interaction of strong high pressure over the Aleutians and the weaker low north of Hawaii, directing most fetch west toward Siberia, but with weaker sideband swell tracking south.
Yet another small low is forecast to form over the dateline/northwest of the Islands Friday (12/2) with pressure down to 992 mbs (weak) generating a fleeting bit of 40-45 kts winds aimed a bit south of Hawaii then fading Saturday as it passes north of the Islands, likely pushing some form of windswell south and east. Not very inspirational though.
California is forecast to have a weak surface low at 1000 mbs push onshore Thursday (12/1) perhaps generating some 30-35 kt west winds, good enough for some junky short period windswell at that time. Secondary 30-35 kt northwest fetch is forecast behind it on Friday setting up windswell possibly for the weekend, but of low quality.
No other swell producing systems are forecast.
See QuikCAST for details.
North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height
California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (11/29) weak high pressure at 1022 mbs was centered off northern Baja trying to get a nose into North and Central California without much luck as a steady supply of weak low pressure tracked east towards the state. The next big batch of mostly moisture with limited winds is expected starting late Wednesday in the north end of the state pushing south through Thursday with some impact reaching as far South CA Friday. 25-30 kt southwest winds to be accompanying this system Tuesday generating some form of short period windchop. High pressure that has been locking down the Aleutian Storm corridor is to drop southeast behind this low generating some more 30-35 kt northwest winds off the Pacific Northwest on Friday and Saturday providing more opportunity for short period windswell for the weekend. That high to eventually sink south and provide some limited protection for the state and calmer conditions for offshore waters for a few days while more moist weather builds further to the west.
The 5 Day wind forecast is now included with the surf & swell overview in the QuikCAST's.
No swell producing fetch forecast over the next 72 hours.
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 high a broad low is forecast to develop just off Japan on Sunday (12/4) dropping to 968 mbs Monday with winds building to 50-55 kts over a small area aimed east, supported by the improved jetstream flow aloft. The low is to lift northeast and slowly weaken with winds in the low 40 kt range Tuesday aimed best at Hawaii but still nestled just off south Kamchatka a long ways from Hawaii and even further from the US west coast. This system in and of itself is not much, but over the entire North Pacific the pattern looks generally more favorable with high pressure receding north of the Bering Sea.
Beyond 72 hours the models suggest a little low is to form south of Hawaii over the weekend (12/3) but most of it's winds are to be aimed a targets east of Hawaii. With a lot of luck maybe some impulse swell for the Islands with nothing for the US west coast. Otherwise no swell producing fetch forecast.
Details to follow...
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Sharks, Sharks and more Sharks: Want to know all the details of every shark encounter over the past few months in California? You can read all about it in the fascinating chronology produced be the Shark Research Committee. There's alot more going on in our waters than you could ever have imagined (or ever wanted to know). http://www.sharkresearchcommittee.com/pacific_coast_shark_news.htm
Stormsurf Weather Model Update: Over the weekend (10/30) we moved new new code into production that should dramatically improve the efficiency and reliability of our weather models. We've had problems with them not keeping in-sync with the wave models. Hopefully that problem is now resolved though we're still dependent on NOAA data servers just like everyone else. What this fix does do is provide the infrastructure now to rapidly expand our offering of weather models, enabling more detailed global coverage. We will be working on that as time permits.
Rob Gilley Photgraphy: Please take amoment to check out the selection of limited print images availabe at Rob Gilleys webite. All images in the 2005 line were taken by Rob Gilley, an 19 year Surfer Magazine staff photographer, and are personally signed and numbered by him: http://www.pacificsurfgallery.com
Tutorial on the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) Presented by Dr. Roland Madden: If you're interested in El Nino and the MJO, have a basic understanding of El Nino, and you have broadband connection, audio and Macromedia Flash installed, then the following presentation is a must see. Dr Madden present a great overview of how the MJO works. And there's nothing like hearing it straight from the founders mouth. Link here: http://meted.ucar.edu/climate/mjo/mjonav0.htm
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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table