UPDATE: Tuesday, December 7: Mavs has gone into the XXL realm as of this morning. The swell seems to have peaked over night but there's still plenty of waves around. The swell's due to drop throughout the day, but there's already been a hell of a lot of waves ridden. Luca Padua snagged a huge cover up and Jamie Mitchell it in the mix too. Keep an eye out for the swell story that will drop over the next few days.
Monday December 7: The low pressure system that tracked way north of Hawaii over the weekend has already generated a large, long-period swell, with not much variation from the forecast about three days ago. A fairly short-lived pulse of tangential swell from this system already arrived in Hawaii yesterday, with periods initially way over 20 secs, and wave heights ramping up to 20 feet at swell magnets such as Peahi by evening. Expect large surf through today, but wave heights ramping down quite quickly on Tuesday. The swell direction is quite northerly and periods drop quickly to around 13 secs by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the main bulk of the swell is heading square-on towards the northwest of North America. The first long-period forerunners have already arrived at spots from Central California northwards. The new swell initially mixes with the last short-period vestiges of the previous one, but eventually dominates as it fills in during the day and the previous swell dies off. By late afternoon, swell magnets such as Mavericks should see wave heights exceeding 15 feet, with periods around 20 secs. Tomorrow Tuesday sees the swell pumping all day, with less bumpy conditions (that old swell completely gone) and wave heights up to 20 feet, perhaps bigger, at Mavericks. Winds are mostly light north-easterlies.
Swell chart: North Pacific
EARLIER: December 4 We're still recovering from this week's Hawaii and beyond swell that has been rumbling in over the past few day. And we're about to drop an edit rounding up one of the heaviest Jaws sessions we've seen – stay tuned for that.
But in the meantime, the North Pacific is not done yet. As by Sunday evening, and into Monday, then Tuesday, we could be on for round two – with swell set again for Jaws and then through to California's meatiest chunk at Maverick's.
“A low pressure system is forming in the North Pacific just east of Japan. This system will steadily expand and intensify as it moves ENE, expected south of the Aleutian Island by Sunday,” says forecaster Tony Butt.
“A large area of storm-force winds on its southern flank will generate a very large pulse of swell, with open-ocean wave heights in excess of 40 feet about 2,000 miles north of Hawaii by Sunday. The main bulk of the swell propagates towards the northwest coast of North America, but a very long period tangential swell will also hit Hawaii. Spots with local focusing will make the most of this swell, with local wave heights at some spots more than twice the offshore wave height.
“At Peahi, for example, the first long-period forerunners start to arrive during Sunday, with periods well over 20 secs, and heights ramping up to 20 feet or so by the end of the afternoon. This continues into Monday, with wave heights well over 20 feet and periods around 16 secs. The swell gradually loses size and quality on Tuesday and into Wednesday. Winds are moderate to fresh easterly trades throughout.
“At Maverick's, the swell is shorter-lived but more intense, and arrives late Monday. The models are showing incredibly long periods – over 25 secs – as the swell first arrives during the day. Wave heights increase in the afternoon, hitting 15 feet or more by early evening, and continue to increase overnight. On Tuesday expect some really big surf, with wave heights well over 20 feet and periods around 18 secs, particularly in the morning. On Wednesday the swell gradually ramps down, although still remaining over 15 feet for most of the day. Winds are mostly light north-easterlies, backing northwest in the afternoons.”
Cover shot: Mavs as of December 7 by Kenan Chan
Stay tuned for updates.