Red Bull Jaws

Weather Forecast for week of Mon 12/17-Sun 12/23


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

The jetstream continues to have problems, exhibiting the same split flow it has for weeks now. The jet is to continue pushing off Japan reaching to the a point just west of the dateline, splitting, with the more energetic branch tracking northeast up into the Bering Sea, then falling down through the Gulf of Alaska, digging out a trough there, and providing the only area supportive for gale development over the entire North Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiian Islands are to be right in the middle of the split flow, cut off from any real swell producing storm potential. The upper level jetstream flow dictates where storms form and how they will move.

Looking at the wave models, the above pattern is expected to continue for the next 7 days. All gale activity is forecast confined to the Eastern Gulf of Alaska targeting British Columbia down into the Pacific Northwest and Northern California. As of right now only one system is of interest, tracking through the Gulf Tues-Thurs (12/20) and offering only sideband swell potential for the Islands. And it is to not be near the minimum size threshold for a contest.

Beyond that no other swell producing weather systems are forecast. There is some signs long term (a week or more out) that wind speeds are to pick up in the jetstream pushing off Japan, maybe pushing the split point further east. But there is no credible evidence that any more than a slight variation in the pattern will occur.

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) heavily influences the jetstream configuration. Currently the MJO is in the Inactive Phase and is expected to hold there for another 2 weeks. After that the long range models suggest perhaps a return of the Active Phase. If and when that occurs, then a pattern more favorable to swell development in the Hawaiian swell window would begin.

Forecast Images

250 mb Jetstream Flow
As of Wednesday (12/19) notice the extreme split in the jet, starting west of the dateline and continuing the rest of the way across the North Pacific. The only area that is really supportive of gale development is the trough (dip) in the jet over the Gulf of Alaska.

Significant Wave Height
Notice a gale developing in the Gulf of Alaska trough theoretically generating up to 40 ft seas. But those seas area all aimed southeast towards the US West Coast. That would leave only small sideband/tangent energy radiating south towards the Hawaiian Islands, nothing near meeting contest criteria.

North Pacific Significant Wave Height Animation


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