Red Bull Jaws

Weather Forecast for week of Mon 2/25-Sun 3/3


Over the next week no storms capable of generating contest grade surf is forecast.

The Inactive Phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) continues to exert control and as is typical, high pressure has built strong over the East Pacific driving the jetstream to the north there and making the formation of swell producing storms in the Maui swell window less likely.

In the upper levels of the atmosphere at the jetstream level, a good amount of wind energy was pushing off Japan on Sunday (2/24) at 190 kts and expected to reach to the dateline by Tuesday, pushing the split point in the jet well to the east (located 1200 nmiles north of Hawaii). A bit of a trough is to be developing just west of the dateline possibly supporting the formation of a strong gale if not a storm just north of this trough. But the jet is to be arching northeast once it hits the dateline and then well up into the Northern Gulf of Alaska. Since the jetstream dictates the path storms will take, any possible storm development will likely track off Japan, build, then arch northeast away from the Hawaiian Islands rather than falling towards them. It is that southeast falling trajectory we are looking for to push swell well into the Hawaiian window. By the later part of the workweek the jetstream is to really fall apart with winds speeds plummeting and the split point racing back to the west, just off Japan with the northern branch ridging hard to the north up into the Bering Sea. A far less favorable environment for storm development is expected then. But there is some suggestion of a trough building in the Gulf of Alaska. If the trough were to build strong enough and the split point retreat west even more, maybe the swell window would open some. but for not, that is pure wishful thinking.

In the lower levels of the atmosphere a compact but fairly strong storm is modeled building off Japan on Monday (2/25) tracking northeast and peaking on the dateline Tues (2/26) with seas building to 49 ft. But again the issue is the storms trajectory, heading northeast instead of southeast. Regardless, a quick fade is forecast 24 hours later as the storm crosses the dateline and dissipates. No contest worthy swell to result. Another small storm is forecast developing on the dateline late Friday (2/1) tracking flat east if not falling slightly southeast while fading well north of the Hawaiian Islands 24 hours later. If it were to make a real plunge southward, maybe there would be something to take note of. But there is no indication of that at this time.

The Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), which tends to determine long term storm production trends, though now in the Inactive Phase, is expected to start slowly moving towards the Active Phase 1-2 week out. The Inactive Phase which is currently in control is generally not favorable for storm development. But with a possible shift to the Active Phase, odds for storm production could ramp up again.

Forecast Images

Jet Stream Forecast
42 hours out (on Tues 2/26) notice the jetstream holding solid with 170 kt winds blowing on the dateline and the split point well to the east located due north of Hawaii. It is stronger wind speeds that have pushed the split point to the east. A bit of a trough (dip) in the jet is forecast near the dateline offering support for storm formation just north of the jet and the trough. Longer term winds speeds are to decrease and the split point retreat to a point just off Japan. A broad trough is forecast for the Gulf of Alaska, offering perhaps some opportunity for development of southeast traveling storms aimed a bit better at Maui.

Significant Wave Height
Also on Tuesday (2/26) notice a compact storm positioned on the dateline tracking east-northeast producing seas to 48 ft. Any swell it generates is to be propagating east rather than southeast at Maui, likely not resulting in contestable swell. But this is not unusual for the Inactive Phase of the MJO. The good news is the models suggest the Active Phase of the MJO should be building 1-2 weeks out, possibly providing a little better support for storm development.


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