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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: December 18, 2007 6:21 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 = 3.9 - California & 1.1 - 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 12/10 thru Sun 12/16
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 Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Eastern Gulf Continues Productive
Possible Strong Pattern Setting-Up Longterm

 

New Swell Classification Guidelines

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.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We hope you've had a great year and wish to extend our many thanks for your support over the past 12 months. Viewership continues to rise enabling us to work on new products. We wish you and your family the best and safest Holiday Season and hope you get some good surf (or snow) whereever your travels may take you. Forecast's will be provided on an as-available basis over the holidays as we try to take some time off as well. Have a great holiday!

PACIFIC OVERVIEW
On Tuesday (12/18) Northern CA surf was double overhead and south windblown. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were up to 2 ft overhead and hacked to bits. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was up to 3 ft overhead and blown out. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was up to head high at the best spots and hacked by south wind. The LA Area southward to Orange County was up to chest high and blown out. South Orange County down into San Diego best breaks were near chest high with decent wind. The North Shore of Oahu was waist high. The South Shore was flat. The East Shore had chest high windswell.

North/Central California was working their way through a run of locally generated swell from the Eastern Gulf of Alaska. Southern California was getting some sideband energy from this same storm pattern, with swells filtering through the Channel Islands. Hawaii's North Shore remained essentially flat. Local windswell was pushing into the East Shore. The South Shore was seasonally flat. The storm pattern is isolated to the Eastern Gulf of Alaska focused on North and Central California and the Pacific Northwest with no end in sight. If anything, the models are suggesting this pattern to become much more well entrenched by later this week with a series of strong systems pushing over this well-worn path into mid-next week. Almost all of these system are to just start forming north of Hawaii with no good fetch in-place till after moving out of the Hawaiian swell window. This suggests that points from Central California northward up into the PAcific Northwest are to be the primary recipients of swell, assuming the models are right, which is a bit of a leap of faith at this early date. But considering that we are in the depths of La Nina, such a pattern is completely within reason. See details below...

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

North Pacific

Overview
Tuesdays jetstream charts (12/18) for the North Pacific indicated cohesive flow pushing off Japan with winds to 160 kts barely ridging gently northeast over the dateline, then splitting with the northern branch continuing on to the east-northeast forming a weak trough in the Gulf pushing on into Oregon while the southern branch weakly sheared off the main flow tracking almost directly over Hawaii then flowing northeast into Central Baja. Best odds for gale development was in the weak trough off the Pacific Northwest. Over the next 72 hours that same basic pattern is to hold but with the pocket of energy off Japan pushing east to the dateline and the split pattern moving east with it, almost out of the picture by Friday (12/21). A little trough is to be setting up in the Gulf too, leading the charge as this pocket of energetic winds pushes east offering good odds for storm development there. Beyond 72 hours A series of small troughs are to push gently east-northeast from north of Hawaii up into the British Columbia coast each with 160 kts winds supporting them. Good odds for at least gale development associated with each at the oceans surface.

At the surface today high pressure at 1024 mbs remained locked in position just 400 nmiles north of Kauai generating brisk easterly trade winds but pushing mostly south of the Islands, reducing the odds for locally generated short-period windswell. A gale, the third in the series was setting up in the Western Gulf with pressure at 992 mbs and winds confirmed at 45-50 kts over a small area in it's south quadrant at 46N 157W aimed at North CA right down the 297 degree path (302 SCal) but bypassing Hawaii. Over the next 72 hours it's to push east in the evening with 40-45 kts winds forecast at 45N 147W generating 25 ft seas at 46N 152W. On Wednesday AM (12/19) a disorganized fetch of 30-35 kts west winds to be positioned at 44N 138W (off Oregon) generating 25 ft seas at 44n 140W. In the evening 30-35 kts winds to persist at 42N 135W while the core of the low pushes into British Columbia. 25 ft seas to continue at 43N 137W. On Thursday AM (12/20) the system to be dead with fading 23 ft seas forecast at 41N 130W about 500 nmiles west-northwest of San Francisco. Assuming all this is correct another pulse of raw swell is expected to push into Northern CA late Thursday evening with period 15-16 secs, with remnant energy at 8-9 ft @ 13-14 secs (11-13 ft faces) expected at sunrise Friday (12/21) coming from 298-303 degrees.

At the same time a broad area of low pressure is to be building in the Bering Sea on Thursday (12/20) . It in-and-of itself is not to be a swell producer, but is to help set the stage and provide energy for a possible storm local storm pattern forecast in the days ahead. high pressure is to start setting up over California too, offering a modicum of protection from the wet weather pattern that's to be slamming into the Pacific Northwest.

 

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

 

California Offshore Forecast
On Tuesday (12/18) the remnants of one Gulf gale was pushing over the California coast with one more queuing up in the Gulf of Alaska. It's to be making it's approach on Wednesday (12/19) with light winds at first light, then turning quickly south in San Francisco building to 20 kts and pushing on down to Pt Conception late evening. High pressure to move in right behind and be in control Thursday morning bringing the usual northwest wind at 20 kts with if reaching down into South CA by evening. Al blowout likely. But by Friday things to be settling down, especially later in the day with offshore's in place for Saturday and Sunday from Pt Arena southward. High pressure to remain in control providing light winds and excellent conditions into Monday, then being reinforced Tuesday (12/25) maybe setting up some northerly winds off Pt Conception, but everywhere else looking good.

 

Tropics
No tropical systems of interest were being tracked.

 

South Pacific

Overview
A short-lived storm developed in the Southeastern Pacific Wed (12/12) generating a decent fetch of 50 kt west winds near 60S 128W fading to 45-50 kts in the evening and 40 kts by Thursday AM. Seas were modeled to 36 ft Wed PM at 59S 125W all heading almost due east. Maybe limited hope for small swell pushing into Southern CA starting Fri (12/21) with swell 2 ft @ 18 secs (3.0-3.5 ft faces) period 17-18 secs fading from 2 ft @ 15 secs on Saturday (12/22) with 2.5 ft faces. Swell Direction 190 degrees.

Otherwise at the oceans surface no swell producing fetch is occurring and none is forecast for the next 72 hours.

 

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 hrs the models have been highly dynamic, shifting significantly from one run to the next. But in all instances some form of rather high energy storm pattern is imaged. As of the 12Z run of the GFS model on Tuesday (12/18) no less than 4 storms are forecast developing roughly north of Hawaii and making a bee-line for British Columbia, all starting rough below 45N and then lifting gently east-northeast. 55 kt west winds and seas of at least 42 ft are forecast from all. The primary target for these systems is Oregon and Washington, though solid energy would likely traverse southeast to Pt Conception. The first is scheduled Thurs-Sat (12/22), then another on Sat-Sun (12/23) then another Mon-Tues (12/25) and the last and biggest starting on the dateline Tues (12/25). It's anyone's guess whether this will really materialize, but it's a nice tease. Will monitor.

 

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing fetch is forecast. The season is over.

Details to follow...

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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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Local Interest

Sharkwater: There's a new feature film called Sharkwater that is hitting theaters November 2nd. Sharkwater is an award winning documentary (22 international film awards including the UN and Cannes) that broke box office records in Canada, opening to bigger numbers than any documentary in history save Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me. It is a conservation film that demonstrates that the biggest influence on the air we breathe, and global warming is life in the oceans except life in the oceans is being wiped out. Shark populations have dropped 90% in the last 30 years alone, and the oceans continue to be destroyed because nobody knows that it's happening Learn more here: http://www.sharkwater.com

Bluewater Gold Rush: The first and only chronicle of the California sea urchin dive fishery. Diving, surfing, comedy, and tragedy on and under the waves of California. "A quintessential tale of California ... dramas of adventure and loss on and under the sea" We read it and it's a great story about the bloom of the urchin diving boom in the 70's and the few lucky souls who were right there when it took off. An easy read that's hard to put down. The trials and success of a 'real' California dream right down to it's core. Check it out here: http://www.bluewatergoldrush.com

Submit your story to 'Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Vol. 2': DEADLINE: January 15th, 2008 Casagrande Press is seeking stories, articles, and essays on the general subject of surfing misadventure for publication in Surfings Greatest Misadventures: Volume 2. We are looking for nonfiction, first-person surf stories of bad judgment calls, pranks, comical/ironic episodes, disaster, attacking predators, misfortune, injury, loss of wit or limb, panic, critical conditions, contest meltdowns, everyday fears, surf trips gone wrong or the out-of-water episodes that surround surfing. We are looking for well-written stories that tell a good tale, reflect a culture, and develop the depth of the characters involved. We also like stories that have a tight narrative tension and a payoff at the end. Open to writers and surfers of any level. There is no fee to submit a story. We will consider previously published stories. To see more info on the first book visit www.thesurfbook.com. Submit online at www.casagrandepress.com

Waveriders Gallery: Check out this collection of high quality artwork all related to waves and the ocean. Surf Paintings, Photography, Posters, Books, Boards and exhibits all produced by a variety of top artists provide a beautiful selection of pieces to chose from. Take and look and see some of the stunning work available from these artists. http://www.waveridersgallery.net/

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

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Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table

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