Red Bull Jaws

Weather Forecast for (week of Mon 12/3-Sun 12/9)

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For the coming week no large wave producing weather systems are forecast in the contest swell window.

The issue for many weeks has been a jetstream that is heavily split and weak. That is, it has been flowing off Japan normally, but then splits as it reaches the dateline with the influential northern branch tracking north up into the Bering Sea (if not north of there) before eventually crashing south back into the Pacific, but limited in coverage over the Eastern Gulf of Alaska, before tracking east and pushing into the US mainland. The main culprit for the split has been weak wind speeds, likely the result of a weak MJO signal. The good news is the the jet is now forecast to start building in strength off Japan by Wednesday (12/5) with the split point moving steadily to the east from midway between Japan and the dateline (now) to the dateline by Wednesday and maybe even to a point north of Hawaii late in the forecast window. And wind speeds are to be increasing, from 120-130 kts currently to 170 kts. One model run this morning even had it up to 200 kts.

Regardless, the jetstream is what fuels storm formation. And if there's ample wind energy aloft, and it's concentrated in the right configuration, then the potential for storm formation jumps up. And storms are what produce surf. So we now see some light at the end of the tunnel.

As of right now a small gale is forecast developing Thursday on the dateline fueled by the improving jetstream flow, producing up to 45 kts winds and 30 ft seas. Assuming it forms as modeled, the resulting swell would be not large enough to meet the minimum size criteria, and the direction would be far to westerly. But it's a step in the right direction.

The other piece of information is that the long range models are now starting to suggest that the Active Phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) might finally be developing about 2 weeks from now. The Active Phase of the MJO is another important piece of the puzzle and has a strong influence on the jetstream. The Active Phase feeds the jet, while the Inactive Phase steals from it. Typically each phase last 20-30 days. So if the Active Phase does develop, and it is strong enough, we can expect a 20-30 day window of improved odds for storm formation. This is something we will be monitoring closely.

In closing, nothing meeting contest criteria is forecast this week. But some of the fundamentals essential for formation of a contest class storm/swell are modeled to develop shortly.


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