Analyzing Upcoming Swell Patterns in the North Pacific
Surf meteorologist Mark Sponsler examines the upcoming swell patterns in the North Pacific Ocean.
Analyzing the Swell Patterns
After the intense conditions of last week's mega-swell, surf meteorologist Mark Sponsler takes a look at what the future holds. In a recent video from Stormsurf, Sponsler breaks down the impending swell patterns to see what surfers can expect in the coming weeks.
Currently, there are two gales in the north Pacific producing 25-foot seas aimed at the West Coast. Behind these storms, a new gale is developing just west of the dateline, with 28-foot seas. Sponsler emphasizes that this is not including the smaller but still surfable swells that are already impacting the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. The forecast indicates that there is a lot of surf either in the water or on the way, with no end in sight.
Focus on the Gulf of Alaska Storm
"We start with our little gale off California producing 23-foot seas, so that's good for a 13 or 14-second period swell, but it's this storm developing in the northern Gulf of Alaska that is of interest," explains Sponsler. The highest seas from the second storm are expected to peak around 51 feet on Tuesday night. After that, the next system is directly aimed at Hawaii, with seas peaking at 42.8 feet on Saturday night. Sponsler notes that these storms are more oriented toward Canada and the Pacific Northwest, with some energy reaching Hawaii and southern California.
Local Predictions and Conditions
To get insight into how these swells will actually affect surf conditions, Sponsler consults local predictions. In Ocean Beach, swells of 11 feet at 13 seconds are expected on Wednesday, resulting in waves up to 17 feet. Another peak is predicted for Friday, with a 10-foot, 18-second swell producing 19-foot waves. However, high winds will impact conditions, making it mostly unrideable except at the most protected spots.
In San Diego, a similar pattern is expected. Three-foot surf will continue until Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a new swell ranging from four to five feet on Thursday. It will trickle down on Friday and remain around four and a half feet for the weekend. There might be a larger pulse on Monday. Wind will also be a factor in San Diego's surf conditions.
On the North Shore of Oahu, surf is currently around eight feet and is predicted to increase to 11 feet on Wednesday before gradually decreasing. It will then peak again over the weekend. Sponsler remarks that there is no shortage of swell on the North Shore and they are grateful for it.
In conclusion, Sponsler confirms that the models are showing a very solid forecast. There are three storms forecasted for the North Pacific, with swells coming in at a more northerly angle over the next two weeks. Surfers can expect consistent surf conditions during this period.