Red Bull Jaws

Weather Forecast for week of Mon 3/4-Sun 3/10


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

Though the Inactive Phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) appears to be fading, it's influence still is having effects on the North Pacific as is the marked approach of Spring. The net result is high pressure is expected to have an even more dominant effect over the bulk of the North Pacific, driving the storm track north and lowering odds of a strong system developing and falling southeast towards the Hawaiian Islands. That said, the Active Phase of the MJO is trying to make some headway into the West Pacific, perhaps providing one last shot to support formation of a storm traveling in the preferred trajectory.

In the upper levels of the atmosphere at the jetstream level, wind energy is to be building through the early part of the week over and off Japan, reaching 190 kts and pushing eventually to the dateline by Wed (3/6), then splitting east of there. A decent trough is forecast building in this upper flow over the dateline, but positioned too far north, effectively over the Aleutian Islands and tracking east through Fri (3/8) offering no support to push a gale southeast towards Hawaii. Beyond that the split point is to retrograde west to a point just off Japan, with the bulk of the jets energy peeling off to the north and tracking through the Bering Sea, driving the storm track even further to the north. At this time the jets configuration is not expected to provide favorable support for the sort of storm track we are looking for.

In the lower levels of the atmosphere virtually no swell producing weather system are forecast for the first half of the week. Finally on Thurs (3/7) a small gale is to build under the Aleutian trough (discussed above), but it is to be effectively east of the Hawaiian swell window by that time. A series of small weather system are forecast tracking off the Northern Kuril Islands over next weekend (3/10) but all quickly traveling northeast bound for the Bering Sea resulting in nothing but small sideband swell energy traveling towards Hawaii.

The bright spot in the forecast is the continued slow evolution of the Active Phase of the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO). The MJO tends to determine long term storm production potential, with the Active Phase being the part of the oscillation favorable to storm production. All forecast models suggest a slow but steady evolution towards the Active Phase over the next 2 weeks. But with the slow but steady change of seasons in-play pushing towards Spring, it is unclear how much positive impact a late season Active Phase might have. It's certainly something to monitor though.

Forecast Images

Jet Stream Forecast

72 hours out (on Wed 3/6) notice the jetstream holding solid with 170 kt west winds blowing from Japan to the dateline and the split point a bit to the east of that. Also notice the beginning of a trough forming north of the split point (a curl in the winds). This trough is expected to have some support for the formation of gale development at lower levels of the atmosphere. But longer term winds speeds are to decrease and the split point is to retrograde/retreat to a point just off Japan with the northern branch of the jet pushing up into the Bering Sea (no favorable for gale development relative to Maui).

Significant Wave Height
On Thursday (3/7) notice a small gale trying to form on the Western Gulf of Alaska with seas 26 ft. This is not a significant gale as is of no real interest. Unfortunately, it is the strongest system forecast for the workweek.


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