It is a good thing that the Pacific is such a big-ass ocean…because when we get a gap in one of the various storm tracks it seems like another area of the Pacific steps up to take up the slack.
Like I mentioned in the last forecast I am finally starting to see a bigger gap in the super-consistent South Pacific…this gap is primarily for California and Hawaii…but it is big enough to change the swell direction on a lot of the energy heading into the South Pacific Islands and Mainland Mex/Central America as well.
At the same time this dip in storm production occurs in the South Pacific…the NPAC continues to show that it hasn’t quite exhausted its bag of tricks. There is a crafty storm expected to spin through the region, driving up some sloppy but nearly double-overhead+ NW windswell into the West Coast, aimed mostly at the Pacific NW, but impacting along Northern and Central California in the process. This storm will have enough moisture to dump some rain across the Pacific NW and even some pockets of snow throughout the higher latitudes…so a few of the mountain towns that thought summer was here…guess again suckers .
So the next few days the North Pacific is mostly just cranking out windswell. Hawaii gets a boost in E tradeswell (whooohooo) and the West Coast sees mostly smaller NW energy (290+) that hits hardest along the Pacific NW and down through Central California, which all pretty much have the same W-NW facing bits of Coastline. SoCal gets a bit of more energetic NW windswell swooping around the corner of Point Conception but that will be much smaller than any other region.
Later this week is where that funky little storm spins up…this storm is forecast to form in the mid-latitudes and track right across the bottom of the Gulf of Alaska before hitting Northern California and Oregon. The storm itself is going to move a bit too fast to do much more than produce short-period swell. It slows down right as it hits the coastal mountains on Thursday, which will let it crank up a bumpy mess of local windswell, setting up nearly double overhead sizes but with swell-periods in the 8-10 second range. The exposed spots will likely be very blown out, but there may be a few of those springtime locations that can pull in a bit of NW energy without the wind…so there is always a chance for the desperate. The meat of the swell arrives starting Thursday night and holds through Friday before slowly backing down on Saturday.
SoCal will get a smaller version of this NW swell…but it will be because the storm fires up the NW winds moving down the Coast rather than any direct fetch that it creates. This will have two repercussions…the first being a building mix of WNW-NW windswell, that will have a more westerly angle than many of the swells we see this time of year (which means more spots will be able to pull some in)…and the second being that it spins up the SoCal Coastal eddy, which sets up S wind, overcast “June Gloom” skies, and hopefully (cross your fingers and toes) some warm water that has a tendency to get driven in by southerly winds.
After that little spinner moves on we are back to business as usual…more subpar windswell hitting mostly above Point Conception.
The South Pacific is still active…but like I mentioned last forecast…the last few days of activity have been a lot more West-to-East in the storm track, sticking mostly to the high-latitudes as they squeeze past a strong high-pressure that is holding over the mid-latitudes.
Fortunately before this pattern truly developed we already had a couple of swells heading down the barrel…so the West Coast, down through Baja, Mainland Mex and Central America will get a few overlapping S-SW swells that hit throughout this week and the upcoming weekend…finally slowing down for the West Coast right around the middle of the month.
One thing worth noting about this “gap” in the storms…it will primarily affect the West Coast…not Central America. The positioning of the high-pressure has left enough of a window between itself and Chile that storms still have some room to move around and there is some pretty decent action forming up in that region.
So while the rest of the regions see a dip in swell activity the tropical regions, mostly in Southern Mainland Mexico and Central America will actually see another round of S swell (180-190) that pushes in with some well-overhead surf, arriving around the 13-14th and holding strong through the 15-16th before seeing any real drop in size.
For the West Coast…we can expect a series of overlapping S-SW swells, all around the waist-shoulder high range for the average exposed spots and a few head high+ sets for the standout breaks. These will push in on the 9th…and then again on the 9-10th, again on the 12-13th, and possibly one more little one on the 15th. These will eventually back off around the middle of the month.
Long-range charts are actually not looking that bad…there is a lot of activity starting to show around the end of the forecast run that will develop around New Zealand. The charts are showing some increased wave heights there that are supposed to spill on over into the South Pacific proper…if this lives up to the current run the West Coast and Hawaii could be back in the S-SW swell business by the last 3rd of June.
East Pacific Tropics
The tropics continue to be pretty quiet right now…looks like we won’t see any new storm activity for the next couple of days.
That is it for now…check back on Thursday for the weekend forecast.
TransWorld SURF Forecaster