Not a lot of changes from the forecast earlier in the week…but there are some cool and not-so-cool things starting to show up in the long range portion of the forecast. Lots of waves on tap for the West Coast for the next 7-12 days thanks to a very active Southern Hemisphere…but don't count out the North Pacific just yet.
Like I have mentioned before the NPAC is pretty entrenched into its spring pattern…where high-pressure holds sway over most of the mid-latitudes and any storm action has to either be very intense or lucky to generate much in the way of swell. This continues to the be the case…but it looks like the East Pacific High Pressure isn't quite as stable as it usually is this time of year (which is probably an effect from El Nino still twisting the knife a bit). This instability is letting the storms around the edges have a little more room to work with…and even letting a couple of low-pressures snap off from their colder brethren to the north and becoming cut-off lows in the space between Hawaii and California.
The wind and weather that the West Coast just experienced was by-product of one of those cut-off lows mixing back up with a colder front, right off the SoCal coastline…(sweet way to go weather….we really like 40-knot onshore winds).
The trend doesn't change much going forward in the forecast…thanks to the cold weather moving on into the US Mainland it lets the high pressure build back over most of California (especially Southern and Central California) and helps to improve the weather/winds for the weekend…just in time for a little pulse of Southern Hemi energy to combo up with the fading windswell.
Further out…there is a disorganized low pressure that is forming just to the North of Hawaii that will be sending some energy to the islands as we move through the weekend and early next week…and then on to the West Coast around the middle of next week.
The sucky part is that the weather models are showing the storm that sets up this swell riding right on top of it all the way into the West Coast, likely bringing a bunch more wind and rain as the swell hits. Fortunately this is still about 5-6 days from becoming a reality so hopefully the weather models will chill out on the whole "bad weather" portion of it and break the storm to the North before it gets a chance to screw up our conditions.
The South Pacific continues to hum along…the storm that pushed out from under New Zealand earlier this week lived up to the forecasts and we have a decent sized SW swell heading toward Tahiti (arriving on Friday April 23rd) that will push on to the West Coast and Central America next week.
If you remember the West Coast…SoCal in particular is going to get some initial SW swell (200-220) pushing up around the 25th…and then the bigger SW swell around the 27-28th. The swell will still pass through that SPAC island shadow…but it should still do a pretty good job setting up some shoulder-head high+ for our standouts by the time it peaks…maybe even a few bigger waves at those spots that really focus these sort of swells. This SW swell direction also hit Mainland Mexico and Central America very nicely (and about the same time they hit SoCal, just a little earlier and bigger)…so that region wouldn't be a horrible place to be over the next couple of weeks.
Further out it looks like there is going to be another pretty intense low moving in the SPAC swell window in about 5-6 days. Check out the charts…
This storm is showing a lot of good qualities. It is positioned in a non-shadowed area of the SPAC, it has some strong South-to-North movement, it gets a bunch of extra-tropical energy bridging through the mid-latitudes as it really pulls together, and it is 1000+ miles closer than the last bigger storm…all of which are good things. Too bad we have to wait almost a full week for it to form. If this storm does live up to forecasts it would likely send an overhead S-SSW swell (180-210) that would hit Southern California around May 5-6th…and the Central AM/Mexico spots about a day or so earlier.
That is it for now…check back on Tuesday to see how that long-range range SPAC storm pulls together!
TransWorld SURF Forecaster