Hawaii And West Coast Weekend Surf Forecast

Holy smokes…my computer goes down for a couple of days (yeah thanks a lot windows vista)…


and once I get it back up and start checking the forecast charts it is like I landed in bizarro world…the North Pacific is suddenly shifting to a springtime pattern and almost all of the lovely storm activity that was showing earlier in the week has pretty much evaporated. While I am not quite to give winter the RIP…it looks like it might not last that long.

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Oh there are still a few storms out there, and enough energy still in the storm track to push some decent sized waves in Northern/Central California and the Pacific NW…but a solid ridge of building high-pressure is starting to set up shop across the mid-latitudes of the Central North Pacific, which is going to shut off a huge portion of the swell window for both Hawaii and Southern California. Check out the latest sea-level-pressure analysis chart…this is what develops in the next 2-3 days.


That high really screws things up in a lot of ways…and its position, almost right in the middle of the Gulf of Alaska, is a classic “springtime” pattern. It basically blocks up the swell windows enough that we see the medium-long period swell gets shut down…but it still leaves enough of a gap along the West Coast to let steady NW winds (and the occasional storm) slip down the gap to junk up shape. Hawaii isn’t hurt quite as bad by this set-up…but now the storms coming off Japan and Siberia need to do a lot of intensification in a shorter distance in order for Hawaii to get big WNW-NW swell…if they take to long to “pop” then the storm is forced over the Aleutians which can significantly interrupt the fetch and filet any chance at bigger swells.


Well enough of being Debbie-downer on winter…there is still a bit of energy out there that will push into the exposed spots over the next couple of days. Right now there is an always fun “cut-off” low that has formed just off the West Coast…it is already starting to put some new weather into the Pacific NW (wow rain in a temperate rainforest…who would have thought!) and it will continue to push south, eventually dropping some more rain on Socal. This storm won’t be much of a swell maker…it didn’t have much room to set up fetch, particularly for Socal, so it looks like spots south of Point Conception are going to get the weather without the waves. North of Point Conception there will be some new NW stormswell…moving in late on Friday…and then a longer-period NW pulse (290-320) that moves in on Saturday and Sunday. The exposed areas can expect more shoulder-overhead to well overhead surf for the average spots…standout NW facing breaks will be close to double overhead at times.

Further out there will be another storm moving quickly through the West Pacific on its way to the Bering Sea that will push out a small, head high-overhead+ WNW-NW swell (300-340) that will hit Hawaii on Saturday night, peaking mostly on Sunday. This will fade out slowly on Monday…turning more to a northerly windswell…and then sort of dropping out through the middle of the week. This same storm will send some more overhead to well-overhead WNW-NW swell to Northern/Central California on Monday (March 8) that will hold into Tuesday and then drop out slowly.


Even further out the high-pressure flattens out a bit…and potentially lets in a decent looking little storm that will sneak just under the Aleutians around Tuesday of next week. If this pulls together the majority of the energy will be directed towards the Pacific NW and Northern California…with a much smaller and shadowed version that will filter into Southern California. At this point it looks like NorCal could see more double-overhead+ surf from this one, if it pulls together, with the swell arriving around Thursday (March 11) of next week. Socal would see it more on Friday…but again would be much smaller…likely shoulder high and below, mostly because of blockage/shadowing by Point Conception.

Next forecast will be on Tuesday, check back in for the latest update!

Adam Wright