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BIG SURF PICTURE Saturday 5/11/13 NPAC Currently: the well above average 3-6' N-NNW is chopped out thanks to the associated NE winds which spoiled the event; it has close interval 11 seconds and will fade just a hair to 4' or 5' Sunday and only for focal reefs like Laniakea. The source was....
(see the video below)...a broad low spiinning to our N last week M-F and moving east getting to under 1000 miles away. The High to our west is moving East at 10kts increases the pressure gradient between the Low leading to near Gales over a wide area. This pumped up our winds to fresh or 25kts and veered them NE. Good for the leeward coast but not the North to NW shores. But better to have sizable choppy surf than summer slumber.
next: A weak Low off Japan Thursday-Sat moved east as it weakens in the 300-320 band over 2000 miles away; we might get some head high WNW Wednesday 5/15-16.
Last: it goes quite till models further fantasize.
SPAC It has been a really good spring with half a dozen swells aready but none like whats in store for us starting end of the coming week..
Currently: a dying 2' Taz plus a new Taz sea SW swell are in the water. The new one is 1.5' 18 second forerunners. The old one hit easy 3' with long fat lines flowing in from a very SW angle. The new one should do the same as it fills Saturday and peaks Sunday Monday from 200-220. The source was a storm which filled the Taz to the north leading to better chances of getting here... tho' a % of the energy will be lost in the South Pac archipegalo 'cheese graters' like Fiji which has over 330 Islands.
Next: the next swell from the same storm but new location (east coast of NZL) will lead to a normal 1-2.5' SSW around Monday evening-Wednesday 5/13-15. Trades will keep it good.
Next: there's storm activity off to our SE which could lead to 1-3' SSE swells near sunday 5/12. Nothing special but may cross up the SSW above.
NExt: Ascat wind measurements confirm a big storm with a good ''following fetch' on its NE track up and then out from the east coast of NZL this past Thursday-Saturday. We'll see our 1st of 4 above advisory SSW swells filling later Thursday; a peak of 5' open ocean 18 second event (country hits 8' with this kind of reading). Our guesstimate peak on Friday afternoon is 4-7' surf (2.5 times overhead) into Saturday and even Sunday.
Next: This giant storm stalls or occludes over the weekend of the 18th more to our South allowing for another shot of long lasting South swell in the easy 5' range but with 15 seconds.
Next: Another Low has its fetch off to the SE of NZL Tuesday 5/14 pushing up some solid 3-5' SSW by tuesday 5/21.
Last: We go into a quite period which we'll likely need...:)
East Shores: Up is the trend from the fresh NE winds and N swell thru Monday. Lets give it 1-3' with isolated higher from the N mix. Then we quite down Tuesday to more average levels.
FETCH: often called the fetch length, is a term for the length of water or distance over which a given wind direction has blown. Fetch length along with the wind speed (or strength) determines the size of waves produced. The longer the fetch length and the faster the wind speed, the larger and stronger the wave will be and vice versa.
CAPTURED or FOLLOWING FETCH: Not only does the fetch length determine the power and energy of the wave. Additionally, if the winds/fetch are blowing in the same direction as during the wave's or storm's lifetime, the wave will in turn be even stronger. The fetch is related to the orbit of the wave and track of the storm.The longer the wind drags along the sea the more energy the wave will have. This can be seen not just in vertical height measurement but in wave period (the measurement of waves through time)
WAVES PERIOD:Time, in seconds, between the passage of consecutive wave crests past a fixed point. In general the longer the period the bigger the wave. Windswell or 'close interval' swells are under 10 seconds. Big 'ground swells' are 17-20+ seconds (note: a 20+ second swell needs storm force 50+kt winds blowing over a 1500 mile fetch to be fully developed' into 20-25' beasts; these 20 second waves can be felt 1000 feet down!). This is why they jack so much more, pulling large amounts of H2O off the outer reefs.
More generic marine definitions click this link http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/pages/marinedef.php