Thursday, April 24, 2008

Playful wave alert - Don't bury the North Pacific...it's not dead yet.

I was about ready to put up the "closed for the season" sign for the North Pacific Storm Track but as usual Mother Nature has different plans.

Over the past 24+ hours a decent little storm spun up into a holding position NNE of Hawaii, just off the edge of the Gulf of Alaska.

Now before you get all excited...this is definitely not a big storm...it isn't even a large or strong storm...it has just enough energy to make me want to mention it in the blog.

The good news is that it will be kicking out a string of playful sized swell for Northern California and as a bonus it will send out a small pulse of WNW energy for Southern California as well.

Here is are a few pics of the system

This is the QUIKSCAT Satellite



This is the wavewatchIII wave model



And here is the FNMOC - EFS Gale Warning ensemble (which basically tells you where strong winds are forecast to develop)



Yes I know..."lots of pretty pictures...thanks for sharing...how about some surf?"

Whatever jerks...here are the forecasts for this system

Northern California will see W-WNW swell (280-300) arriving throughout the day on Saturday and eventually peaking overnight into Sunday. As the swell peaks look for W facing breaks to have surf in the waist-shoulder high+ range while the standout spots see some overhead sets mixing in at times. Winds should be only OK for this period...NW flow around 10-15 knots will keep some of the more exposed breaks fairly bumpy...but the better westerly angle of this swell means that more energy will be able to wrap into the more protected spots. Essentially we will have some decent size surf at the sheltered areas of Santa Cruz and the Central Coast along with some protection from the wind. (also worth noting that this storm is expected to jump in the Gulf over the next 48-72 hours and in the process set up a steeper NW swell for early next week).

Southern California (and Baja Norte) will see this swell arrive slowly on Sunday...then peak Sunday afternoon into Monday. It won't be big...exposed breaks will be around knee-waist high with some chest high sets...but it will help to cross up some small SW swell at the combo breaks adding a little size, more consistency, and better shape at the top spots.

Anyway like I said nothing to get super fired up about but since the NPAC is about to close up shop I thought it would be worth mentioning.

1 comment:

Nic Bennett said...

Just wanted to say, I'm really appreciating the blog. Writing is informative and entertaining -- even the "pretty pictures" are nice to look at.

So, thanks for your efforts and keep it up! Hoping for a good session a bit north of Santa Cruz Sunday morning!