Cholos Mem Day Salsa 19

Big Picture

SNN BIG PICTURE: Saturday 5/25/19 



JETSTREAM: The upper air current- is still fairly energetic. A cut off/split Jet for some time now has drifted to our N. It did help create some marginal gale Low-pressure area to our NNW esp. by Wednesday. We saw the great results today. Our Jet set up helped a large gyre in the upper level keep the fetches from the WNW-NNW going for days. Thus, the long spell of out of season WNW and soon to reinforce NNW. Details below.

The Jet goes weak and zonal by Wed-Thursday the 30th tho’ by Friday there’s potential with a slight trough or dip toward us Friday.

Jetstream: Large scale ‘river of wind’ about 30-35,000ft in our upper atmosphere flowing west to east circling earth in both Hemispheres. It has major impacts on climate, weather, and airmass (Lows and Highs) which help form and steer storms that bring our waves.

Recent-Current: Surf was small this past work week then the pattern change hit Friday eve. Surf was A+1 Saturday with a WNW-NW that filled in the first half of the day as forecasted. It hit easy 5’ at Sunset (one report of a 6’ set) and of course, there were more 4’s than 5’s. Trades kicked up stronger than forecasted with some 15-25mph gust at select exposures for the midday peak. It mellowed out for a clean evening sesh.

Source: The split Jet helped spawn some 25’ seas in a SE bound Low that had a captured fetch to start and then began occluding (stalling and broadening) around 40N (1200 miles to our NNW) Wed. 22nd. Thus, the long lasting (2-3 day episode).

Next: Luckily, by Saturday the new batch of fetch from a reinvigorated tho’ smaller weaker Low is on the charts. Still, we’re hoping for some possible 2-3’+ NNW Tuesday. Trades super lite with late morning seabreezes from Monday-Wednesday.  

Last: A marginal gale low moves SE again from off Kamchatka Sunday-Monday where it weakens more into Tuesday. We’re hoping for a pulse of NNW to 2-3’+ again with 10-20mph ENE trades. May took good care of us.

About a half a dozen fetches deliver over the 14-forecast period. See the Local Swell Tracker. These storms have overlap so there are 4 combined main events. The Mothers Day Swell will end up bigger and better than the upcoming Sunday-Memorial Day event…but no complaints at all.


Jetstream has been working its magic the past couple weeks with strength and beautiful NNE meridional flows right up the New Z coast! A few nice storms have been steering our way.

Today Saturday the Jet is zonal with very weak energy where we need it, in the Taz and below and to the east of New Z. Luckily, Monday the 27th we see an NNE flow but the winds are just 110kts…not enough energy to get transferred to the ocean surface. A stronger NE flow points at us from under Tahiti Wednesday the 29th. By Thursday we see some deep in the Taz which drifts east of New Z and the Northern Branch intensifies. This is an improvement but not a great one like we seen the past couple weeks. Thus, no significant swells to compare with Mothers Day nor Memorial Day.

Still…if June-Aug can keep up with May this will be an EPIC Summer.

Recent-Current: The surf’s been going off with long lasting overhead SSW events pretty much back to back over 2 weeks. The same for the last couple days and now we’re in for the next run.

Next: On Sat. the 18th a Low SE of New Z with 30′ seas was steered right up the east coast again limiting the fetches’ breadth and full potential but the good news is this Low got some help by a bigger, more powerful Low on it’s heals Sunday the 19th. It’s had some 34′ seas and fast NE track with a following-fetch. It will ‘act’ on the already elevated seas of the prior Low since it has longer periods from its higher winds.

Tho’ this episode was Downgraded from Wednesday 5/15 models the captured fetch is long. By later Tuesday the storm deepened with near 40’ seas under French Polynesia. This one sent Tahiti into overdrive…Teahupo’o got 10-12’ ++ (10’ 16-sec swell).

Hawaii got some 16-18-sec forerunners late Saturday the 25th. Sunday could see 3-5’ sets and focal reefs maybe a few bigger 6′ sets esp. later Sunday and peaks into Monday before it slowly fades Tuesday 3-5’ ….

Next: Then a Low tracks NE and intensifies toward under Tahiti & should ramp the periods to 16 sec Tuesday with surf reinforcing to 2-3+’ from the straight South Tuesday into Wednesday the 29th.

Last: A Low pops Saturday the 25th under Tahiti with some 30’ seas as it tracks NE out of our window. Still, we should see some fun 3’ South surf at 16-sec building June 1st for the TC Grom Contest.


Recent/current/next: It was small last week at 2’ but upstream trades made for 3’ Friday and local fresh East winds boosted surf to 2-3’+ today. The trend is down as light winds are on their way M-W. A dissipating front NW of the state is the cause. Trades come back Thursday onward for the long haul and average Trade swell will follow.

TROPICS: Nothing new this week.

Long range outlooks are often blurry.


On SNN: spectral graphs are helpful when the text output doesn’t yet show the slivers of super long periods as early. or GO HERE


Weak El Nino continues… through the summer, the tropical Pacific sea surface temperature expected to stay a bit above the El Niño threshold.

We see the same 50% probability El Niño will continue into the fall.

Elevated amounts of warmer-than-average water between the surface and about 300 meters below the surface were seen during March.

A downwelling Kelvin wave continued eastward under the surface of the equatorial Pacific. The blob of warm water will gradually rise, providing a source of warm water to the surface. This helps keep temperatures elevated over the next few months, and supports the forecast through summer.



Surf Climatology HERE

NWS criteria for High Surf Advisories (first number) & Warnings (second number).

All surf height observations & forecasts are for full ‘face’ surf height, or ‘trough to the crest’ of the wave.

North-Facing Shores 15 Feet and 25 Feet

West-Facing Shores – Remaining Islands 12 Feet and 20 Feet

West-Facing Shores – Big Island 8 Feet and 12 Feet

South-Facing Shores 8 Feet and 15 Feet

East-Facing Shores 8 Feet and 15 Feet

Get the latest Central Pac Hawaii HERE

Common Terms:  Split Jetstream

Blocking ridge

Short-wave tough

Note: Spectral density graph in the SNN Buoy Page HERE can show ‘slivers’ of forerunners that initial text readings of new swells which often do not ‘show’ till later on written/text buoy updates. Also, note the vertical graph is not ‘wave height’ rather its a measure of wave energy in hertz (frequency or cycles/sec) for the whole ‘band’ (the distribution of power/period in the total wave energy field/spectrum).

For the SNN Buoys ‘per shore’ arrangement  GO HERE

Links: Get the latest on the Eastern North Pac GO HERE 

For more on the West Pac Typhoons GO HERE

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