Tagged: east pacific

Hawaii – First Significant NNW Swell This Sunday

The first significant NNW swell of the 2012-2013 Hawaii winter season is en route, with swell conditions at the Waimea Bay station expected to reach 8 feet at 15 seconds (332°) on Sunday, September 23. With moderate ENE trade winds forecast, conditions could be a touch windy, but the angle is favorable side/off-shore (there’s also a slight possibility of thunderstorms on both Sunday and Monday).

Looking at the charts for Sunday, September 23 (above), you can see that the brunt of the swell is focused more towards the Pacific Northwest and Northern California, with Hawaii receiving mainly sideband energy. Still, it should be enough to produce double-overhead surf along north facing shores and begin to push some of that summer sand around.

A second pulse is lining up behind Sunday’s and is expected to arrive in Hawaii on Thursday, September 27. A South Pacific pulse will also be arriving on Thursday, so there should be plenty of surf to choose from! This animation of the September 21, 2012 swell period forecast clearly shows both swells pushing across the Pacific.

Keep an eye on real-time reports from the Northwest Hawaii station for those long-period forerunners, or better yet, set an alarm to be automatically notified when they arrive!

Forecast Hawaii/

Hurricane Emilia Enters Southern California Swell Window

Hurricane Emilia (2012)

Hurricane Emilia vs. Hurricane Eugene (2011)

Hurricane Emilia entered the Southern California swell window yesterday at Category 2 strength, but continued to intensify overnight, reaching Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. As of 8:00 a.m. PDT (NHC Advisory #12), Emilia is moving west-northwest (285°) at approximately 10 mph, with hurricane force winds extending outward up to 35 miles. Emilia is expected to gradually weaken beginning tonight, and continue weakening through Thursday, July 12th. The track model guidance predicts continued west-northwest movement, with a late westward turn, with only a slight change in speed.

The image above includes the best track data for Hurricane Eugene (2011), which entered the Southern California swell window on August 2, 2011 as a Category 2 hurricane and later intensified to Category 4. Looking at the historical wave observation data from the Point Loma station on Friday, August 5, 2011, reveals a steady pulse of South energy in the 3-5 foot at 13-15 seconds.

Primary Swell at Point Loma – Friday, August 5th, 2011

Although a northerly track is more favorable for Southern California surf production (the majority of a hurricane’s swell energy is focused along its path), Emilia is moving WNW at a slightly slower pace than Eugene did (10 mph vs. 14 mph), which gives the wind more time to transfer energy onto the sea surface. The latest forecast model for the Point Loma buoy shows a small, moderate-period SSE pulse arriving Thursday (July 12, 2012), with continued moderate south swell through the weekend (3 feet at 10 seconds). However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upgrade in the forecast, particularly for late Thursday into Friday, if Emilia maintains major hurricane strength and a relatively slow pace (10 mph or less).

Point Loma, CA – 5-Day Forecast as of 11 p.m. on July 9, 2012

I’d recommend keeping an eye on the Point Loma 5-day forecast over the next few days to see how things shape up. Given how dismal this summer has been so far in California, it’s definitely something to get excited about. Just how excited depends on what Emilia does in the next 24-48 hours.

Forecast Southern California/

East Pacific – March 24, 2012 Outlook

East Pacific Significant Wave Height Forecast - March 24, 2012

East Pacific Significant Wave Height Forecast - March 24, 2012

A large, moderate-period WNW swell is on its way towards the West Coast, with another system set up directly behind it.

Initial forecasts for the second swell show it peaking next weekend (March 31) with significantly larger swell heights. Keep an eye on the Point Reyes station model to see how this system develops over the next few days.

A South Pacific ground swell is also making its way north and is expected to arrive next weekend as well. Can you say combo swell?


East Pacific – XXL Swell in the Long-Range Forecast

A significant swell is showing in the long-range East Pacific model, with Buoy 46006 (SE PAPA, 600 NM West of Eureka, CA) forecast to reach 33 feet at 13 seconds (W 276°) on Friday, January 20th.

The long-range model is subject to revision, but the forecast for Half Moon Bay is currently showing swell conditions approaching 23 feet at 15 seconds (WNW 292°) by Saturday afternoon (1/21).

We’ll be keeping an eye on the models to see how this swell develops over the next few days.

January 19th Update: Swell Sightly Downgraded

The swell is a bit smaller than initially forecast, with swell conditions at @buoy46006 now expected to peak Friday afternoon at 29 feet at 13 seconds (W 266°). The Half Moon Bay buoy is expected to build rapidly on Saturday and peak in the evening at 21 feet at 14 seconds (WNW 290°).


Hilary Intensifies, Now a Hurricane

As of 8:00 a.m. PDT on Thursday, September 22, 2011 (NHC Advisory #6): Hurricane Hilary is currently moving WNW (295°) at 10 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 75 mph. Hilary’s track is forecast to continue along the southwest coast of Mexico, with additional strengthening expected over the next 48 hours.

After the next three days, the models diverge significantly with regional models showing recurvature, while some of the global models expect Hilary to continue moving WNW. The official forecast lies between these scenarios, which now places Hilary within the Southern California swell window early Tuesday morning.

In terms of surf, it’s difficult to say what the impact of Hurricane Hilary will be until she enters the swell window. Although Hilary is forecast to be on a weakening trend by then, if she maintains a slow pace and/or turns north, it could be enough to pump some moderate-period energy towards Southern California, with swell arriving by Thursday or Friday. The outlook will become a bit clearer by Sunday.


Hilary Expected to Become Hurricane on Thursday

As of 8:00 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 (NHC Advisory #4): Tropical storm Hilary continues to strengthen, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. The National Hurricane Center expects Hilary to intensify to hurricane strength tomorrow, and tropical storm warnings have been issued along the coast of Mexico due to the nearshore forecast track.

The storm is forecast to reach peak intensity over the upcoming weekend, with maximum sustained winds approaching 105 mph. If correct, this would mean Hilary would be on a weakening trend on Monday as she enters the Southern California swell window. Not the greatest news in terms of surf, but storms have been known to defy the models. We will continue to keep an eye on her.


Tropical Storm Hilary

Tropical Storm Hilary Public Advisory #2

As of 8:00 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 (NHC Advisory #2): Tropical Storm Hilary has formed south of Mexico, currently packing maximum sustained winds near 40 mph. Hilary is moving west-northwest (290°) at 5 mph, and is expected to increase in both speed and intensity over the next few days.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecast expects Hilary to reach hurricane strength by Friday, and intensify to a Category 2 hurricane by Sunday. If the current forecast track holds up, Hilary will enter the Southern California swell window sometime on Monday.

We’ll have to see what Hilary does over the next few days, but there is potential for a hurricane swell during the tail end of next week. That all depends on how Hilary develops over the next few days, especially once she crosses into the swell window. Keep an eye on this one.