The forecast is a mix of good and bad news this week…
On the good side…there are still plenty of storms rolling around the Pacific. (wow that was a news flash there!) These storms have managed to put a couple of swells “in the water” and they are on the way to the West Coast and a bunch of the travel destinations. The long-range charts are also on the good side…they are showing a strong storm forming down by New Zealand that will send out waves for Hawaii, the West Coast, and almost everywhere in-between.
The Bad news is that both Hawaii and the West Coast are going to suffer a few days of craptacular surf before we get the spring/summer back on track. The gap in the South Pacific storm track is finally going to be felt later this week as the steady run of Southern Hemi energy dries up for the West Coast. The NPAC isn’t going to be much help either…high-pressure is going to pound NW windswell into the Pacific NW and on down through Central California, and while it is a large chunk of windswell it is going to be accompanied by near Gale Force winds in the 25-35+ knot range. Hawaii will also suffer, well Hawaii gets to “continue” to suffer the summer flatness for the next week or so with just minimal long-period energy from either ocean and some moderate, but junky, E tradeswell.
Soooo the NE Pacific High-pressure continues to shut down the storm track in the North Pacific (which is pretty typical this time of year). The suckiest part is that it is still leaving a hell of a gap next to the West Coast and is just funneling NW-NNW winds down the pipe.
As these winds move down the coast they are driving up windswell along with sloppy conditions for most of the spots that can pull in the windswell. Down in Socal these winds help to create the coastal eddy, which while it moves in some warm water, basically does its best to screw up surf conditions, and springtime S-SW swells, by pushing surf-crumbling southerly winds over the region and holding them for days on end.
Forecasts are not showing any significant change in the NPAC set up over the next week (and possibly longer), which means that we can expect some NW windswell for the West Coast, showing biggest north of Point Conception as it peaks later this week. Other regions are pretty much SOL for the foreseeable future.
The South Pacific is still active…but that swell gap is moving toward the West Coast…so we can expect a dip in surfable waves for most regions by later this week. Right now we have a mix of SSW-SW swell hitting the exposed areas, and showing biggest down in Mainland Mex and Central America…this SW’er will hold into Tuesday and then fade steadily through the second half of the week. Check out the chart below…you can see the gap I am talking about.
By Friday and on into the weekend we can expect a mix of small background pulses of SW swell…even Central America will be dropping into the shoulder-head high range as the last of the energy trails off.
This slowdown in swell is going to last from late this week till about the 24-25th of June…which in my humble opinion…blows.
Looking out into long-range charts (a happier place) there is a nice sized system forming over New Zealand that is going to move out into the open waters of the South Pacific and send out swell for Hawaii, Tahiti, the West Coast, and all along Mexico and Central America as well.
This low forms over the next 4 days…moving over New Zealand and pulling in a bunch of extra-tropical energy as it moves under the South Pacific Islands.
The extra-tropical energy helps to strengthen the storm…boosting wind speeds into the 35-40 knot range (possibly stronger)…
Eventually these winds set up some solid 30’+ seas and kick out the series of new swells. I drew lines for Socal on this chart…but you can see the yellow/orange/red arrows aimed all over the Pacific.
While this storm isn’t the strongest we have had this year it looks ok/good for creating surf. I like a couple of aspects in this system…the first being the storm’s track. It moves very South-to-North as it tracks easterly (I guess we could call that NE) with a high-pressure wedging in behind the main areas of fetch. This helps to speed up winds and forces the storm to move the more favorable directions, which gives these winds more time over an active sea-state (basically this means that the storm rides on top of the swell it has already created…just adding more energy in the process). The second big thing that I like is that the swell generating part we are looking at isn’t the “first” part of the storm…there is another front that rushes through before this portion of the storm forms…this first front develops the seas and gets all of the sloppy wind torn mess moving the right direction…allowing the second front to capitalize on its momentum. Finally, I like the positioning of this storm…it is just far enough east that I think the core of the system is going to be in an unshadowed part of the swell window both for Hawaii and California…granted a lot depends on the next few days…but this would help more size and consistency move north of the equator, rather than getting absorbed by the South Pacific Islands.
The swell from this system will be arriving in a series of overlapping pulses that will start to show as early as the 25-26th…but will peak on the 27-29th of June. The first part of the swell will be in the chest high range with some shoulder high sets at the standout breaks…while the second pulse will be more chest-shoulder high for the average spots and head high, possibly head high+ at the standouts.
East Pacific Tropics
A couple of areas of disturbed weather are showing down in the tropics right now…they still have a fairly low probability of becoming full tropical storms…right in the 20-40% range of becoming a named system in the next 48 hours. It does however look like these thunderstorms will become more organized over the next week…possibly reaching TS or better by this upcoming weekend.
That is it for now…get your chores and Dr. Appointments out of the way later this week…and check back on Friday for the next forecast update.
TransWorld SURF Forecaster