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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: August 2, 2007 9:19 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 = 0.5 - California & 2.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' 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 7/30 thru Sun 8/5
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   

Quiet Pattern Takes Hold
Limited Windswell For California & Hawaii for Now


On Thursday (8/2) Northern CA surf was waist high with a few rare chest high sets and reasonably clean. South facing breaks in Santa Cruz were waist high with bigger sets. Central California surf (Morro Bay) was waist high and bumpy. Surf in Southern CA from Santa Barbara to just north of LA was thigh high at the best breaks. The LA Area southward to Orange County was waist to rarely chest high. Southward from Orange County into San Diego best breaks were waist to near chest high. The North Shore of Oahu was flat. The South Shore had surf fading from waist high. The East Shore report was not available.

North/Central California was getting tiny northwest windswell mixed with tiny southern hemi swell. Southern California was getting occasional bits of southern hemi swell providing something rideable at the better breaks. Hawaii was flat on the North Shore. The South Shore was getting the final day of southern hemi swell, and small at that. The North Pacific was quiet other than a tropical depression tracking towards Hawaii and high pressure northeast of the Islands starting to build possibly setting up easterly windswell for the weekend ahead. Windswell generated from this high pressure system is also forecast to surge some along the California coast over the weekend providing something rideable there too. But into next week the outlook becomes generally even less enthusiastic with high pressure retreating from the US coast and things going flat with no southern hemi swell in the picture. Only easterly windswell is expected to hold along Hawaiian easterly shores. See details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis.cgius forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (8/2) for the North Pacific indicated nothing of interest with a weak flow pushing generally flat west to east just south of the Aleutians pushing into British Columbia. Maximum winds were 110 kts in tiny pockets. No support for low pressure development indicated. Over the next 72 hours a big ridge is forecast to build into the Gulf with up to 130 kt winds pushing into Alaska. Beyond 72 hours the ridge to quickly push into Canada (by Monday 8/6) with a weak flat flow following. There's hints of another ridge building in the Gulf by next weekend (8/11), but that's all. In all there's no indication the jetstream will be providing support for surface level low pressure development for the next week.

At the surface today moderate high pressure at 1028 mbs was centered in the Gulf of Alaska with a thin tail ridge west all the way to Japan. Weak low pressure at 1000 mbs was over the intersection of the dateline and the Aleutians. No macro level fetch of interest was occurring in the North Pacific other than a small area of 25 kt north winds situated over Cape Mendocino CA generating tiny northerly windswell down the Central CA coast. Over the next 72 hrs through Sunday (8/5) the high to build to 1032 mbs off California producing a steady flow if 20-25 kts winds over Cape Mendocino by early Saturday and producing moderate windswell aimed towards Central CA. This to hold into Sunday. At the same time this high to start interacting with tropical depression Erick or it's remnants (see Tropical Update below) producing a solid fetch of northeasterly winds late Friday at 20-25 kts holding through the weekend, producing moderate windswell for east facing shores.


On Thursday AM (8/2) Typhoon Usagi was located inland over Southern Japan with sustained winds down to 75 kts tracking north. A steady turn to the northeast is expected over the weekend as the storm tracks through the Sea of Japan with winds fading from 50 kts. By Saturday AM (8/4) it is forecast to be ready to re-enter the the North Pacific just off the Southern Kuril Islands, then taking a track northeast up the Kuril's and remaining landlocked. No support for swell generation is suggested.

Tropical Depression Erick was located about 2/3rds of the way to Hawaii from mainland Mexico with sustained winds 30 kts and tracking due west. This motion is to continue for the next 5 days bringing it southeast of the Big Island by Tuesday into Wednesday of next week (8/8). But winds are to be down to 25 kts or less, making it not much of a swell generator, if it even last that long. Maybe some short period easterly windswell for east facing shores of the Big Islands then with luck.

The models suggest development of another tropical system off mainland Mexico Fri/Sat (8/4) following in Erick's footsteps to the west and building. Maybe something for Hawaii to watch but that is just a projection by the models, so odds are low of it occurring.


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


California Offshore Forecast
On Thursday (8/2) high pressure at 1028 mbs was in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska ridging into Oregon generating the standard fetch of 25 kt north winds off Cape Mendocino producing small to moderate windswell, but the fetch itself was not impacting the coast making for decent local wind conditions. The high to build to 1032 mbs by Saturday producing a broader area of 25 kt north winds aimed better at Central CA pushing near 30 kts late, with windswell on the increase some. That fetch to start dying late Sunday (8/5), and be totally gone by Monday. A calm pattern with no windswell of winds grater than 10 kts forecast through the following workweek (8/10).


South Pacific

Thursdays jetstream charts (8/2) for the South Pacific indicated a .cgiit flow over the southwest then merging in the southeast Pacific courtesy of a trough pushing north there. But this trough was not pushing far up into the greater Pacific, residing south of 60S and east of 140W. Winds were only 100 kts flowing up into it too, providing limited support for surface level low pressure development. The .cgiit flow in the west provided no support there. Over the next 72 hours through Sunday (8/5) even that trough is to slip off to the east with the southern branch of the jet positioned very far to the south and land/ice-locked. No support for surface level low pressure development in the California or Hawaii swell windows. Beyond 72 hours more of the same is forecast with a very .cgiit flow in control and the southern branch di.cgiaced well to the south and weak, with the northern branch exhibiting a steady southward push. Again, no support for storm development indicated.

At the surface today low pressure at 964 mbs was in the far Southeast Pacific 40-45 kt west winds and 30 ft seas aimed at extreme southern Chile, but none of that was expected to push north towards California and totally out of the Hawaiian swell window. High pressure to the north to interact with this low through the weekend generating 50 kt winds and up to 40 ft seas just of the extreme tip of South America, but well outside our forecast area. Otherwise high pressure at 1020 mbs to be developing southeast of New Zealand choking off the normal storm corridor there and eliminating chances for storm development.


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




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

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the high pressure system in the Gulf of Alaska to retrograde west pulling away from California by Monday (8/6) and eliminating any windswell generation potential there. It's to also be losing it's fuel in the form of tropical Depression Erick relative to Hawaii, with trades fading and windswell along with it. Still high pressure at 1032 mbs to remain positioned in the Gulf, just out of range of either California or Hawaii through the end of next week. A calm pattern expected for each.

South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours the models indicate that high pressure is to continue in control of the Southwestern Pacific off New Zealand supported by a well di.cgiaced (to the south) jetstream flow aloft. Some degree of low pressure to try and develop off southern Chile mid-next week, but well outside our forecast area. No swell producing potential expected relative to either Hawaii or California.

Details to follow...

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Local Interest

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.

New CDIP Buoys Online: We've updated our buoy system to pick up new CDIP buoys put in service recently. One is the Monterey Canyon (inside Monterey Bay). Check it out here: Buoy 156. Also there are more new CDIP buoys activated in NCal, SCal, Pacific Northwest, and Florida.

Jason-1 Satellite Data On-line and Improved!: Our Jason-1 satellite data was upgraded yet again Wednesday PM (6/6) and is now operating better than ever. We've added a feature that averages the data every 15 measurements on the local views and every 50 measurements on the global view (1 measurement every 3 nautical miles) and overlays the results onto the wave model chart. Both the single highest measurement on the chart and the highest 15 measurement average are posted at the bottom of each chart. This seems to work real well and compensates for the very spiky nature of the raw data coming off the satellite. So we now have an effective way to verify the accuracy (or lack of) the wave model output. See the data here:

Comprehensive guides to surfing Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Baja and Mainland Mexico: They ain't pretty. They ain't glossy. They ain't coffee table picture books. These are guides for surfers who want real, useful information. Since 1996 The Surfer's Guides have always provided more info, more detail, more tips, and have been updated more often than any other surf travel guides. Take a look here:

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures: We've been reading a great book of short stories all based around surfing adventures, but not in classical sense. These are stories of surf trips gone bad, personal growth and realizations while on surf trips, silly things that happen while surfing right on up to horrifying shark attacks, and some great nostalgic tails of surfers versus the Marines at Trestles back in the early days. A truly enjoyable, easy to read and entertaining look at the culture and pe.cgie that make up the surf community. Check it out here:

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:

Stormsurf Google Gadget - Want Stormsurf content on your Google Homepage? It's si.cgie and free. If you have Google set as your default Internet E.cgiorer 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! .xml

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