The latest Wavewatch forecast shows a sizable northwest swell building in the East Pacific. Keep an eye on this storm to see how things develop, as this is currently at the tail end of the model’s 180-hour range and is subject to revision. Given favorable conditions, initial estimates place the swell’s arrival in Hawaii on the 25th of March.
March 18th Update – Major Downgrade in the Forecast
Well, there’s a reason why the long-range models are subject to revision. 54 hours later and the large NW system that was previously forecast has vanished. The forecast now shows moderate NNW and NNE energy building on Wednesday into Thursday of this week, with swell conditions of 5-6 feet at 10-11 seconds expected.
It’s still not officially winter, but the North Pacific’s summer slumber is officially over. The first big swell of the 2011-2012 winter season is making its way towards the Pacific Northwest with enough size to test your summer training regimen.
Washington and Oregon will receive the brunt of the energy, with surf heights building rapidly throughout Wednesday and peaking in the 16 feet at 15 seconds range (WNW 283°). shows the swell peaking
The Stonewall Banks (@buoy46050) forecast also shows a large, moderate-period swell on Monday (10 feet at 12 seconds WNW 286°), which might provide a good opportunity to dust off the gun before Wednesday.
Further south, the Half Moon Bay forecast shows the swell peaking early Thursday morning in Northern California, with swell conditions of 12 feet at 15 seconds (WNW 301°). Long-period forerunners in the 17-second range are expected to appear in the real-time reports (@buoy46012) by Wednesday evening.
Hawaii will also see some action from this swell, however it will primarily be sideband energy, and thus wave heights will not be as big. The Waimea Bay forecast shows surf heights building through the day on Wednesday, reaching about 5 feet at 13 seconds (NNW 340°) by nightfall, then tapering off slowly into the weekend.
The North Pacific wave models are looking pretty juicy next week, with some overhead (maybe double) stuff projected for Hawaii, and another storm brewing behind it. Direction looks good, West to Northwest, hopefully it will start pushing some sand around in the Country.
Get ready for the Winter season by following the Northwest Kauai buoy (@buoy51001), the Northern Hawaii buoy (@buoy51000), and the Waimea Bay buoy (@buoy51201). See you in the water!