Red Bull Jaws

Weather Forecast for week of Mon 2/11-Sun 2/17

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Over the next week no storms capable of producing contest grade surf is forecast. But a series of small gales are forecast to track from Japan east-northeast over the dateline pushing into the the Western Gulf of Alaska producing small longer period surf with luck.

Early this week in the upper levels of the atmosphere at jetstream level 170-180 kt winds to be building off Japan tracking east to the dateline then splitting with most energy traveling into the northern branch of the jet tracking up into the Gulf of Alaska. A small trough is to build mid-week moving into the Gulf likely supporting some degree of gale development, but nothing in the contest swell window. Another trough to form right behind it off Japan on Thurs (2/14) also taking a track towards the Gulf with the same result. And a broader trough to follow off the Kuril Islands by next weekend (2/17) moving east. But there's no indication of any support for weather system falling southeast (the preferred trajectory), at least in the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

In the lower levels of the atmosphere a weak gale is to track northeast over the dateline Tues-Wed (2/13) generating 28 ft seas heading for the Gulf of Alaska. No support for contestable swell expected. A second far stronger but very compact storm is to develop just off Japan lifting slowly but steadily east-northeast generating maybe 45 ft seas on Fri (2/15) before fading when it hits the dateline. But again, no southeast trajectory is indicated. And finally a gale is forecast building off the Kuril Islands Sat (2/16) but making little eastward headway producing seas in the 34 ft range over the weekend. So the overall trend is still supportive of gale development, but all weather system are to be fairly well removed from the contest swell window and taking headings not favorable to great circle tracks into Maui.

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), which tends to determine long term storm production trends, is now moving into the Inactive Phase and expected to stay that way for the next 2-3 weeks. This generally is not favorable for storm development, but in and of itself does not preclude the formation of storms. But a new version of the Active Phase of the MJO is to be building in the Indian Ocean starting 12 days out and theoretically could start making inroads into the far West Pacific in 2-3 weeks. This is something to monitor.

Forecast Images


Jet Stream Forecast
48 hours out notice a trough (a dip/twist in the jet) developing in the northern branch of the jetstream fed by 150 kt winds tracking east from Japan. This to be supportive of the first of 3 gales forecast over the coming week. Also notice the jetstream splitting as it reaches a point just northwest of Hawaii with much less wind energy east of the dateline. This is to not be supportive of gale development.



Significant Wave Height
By Friday (2/15) notice a small but strong storm developing as it approaches the dateline producing seas in the 45 ft range over a small area aimed east. This to result in swell, but most of it is to be propagating east rather than southeast at Maui and a long ways away, likely not resulting in contestable swell.


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