Brad Baker Coho ho ho weather August 27 2014
Surfs up in California! It made NPR this morning. I was listening on the way in to the office on how surfers and boogey boarders are flocking to the California Beaches to take advantage of the large swell. Well isn't that swell (sorry I couldn't resist). The S to SW swell should continue with any significance through Friday, but should really back off after that.
The overall pattern continues with a transition in store for the PNW as we go to more zonal flow with an upper level trough and heights fall. The weather will definitely cool off up here in Washington and precipitation comes into the forecast starting Friday through into early next week for Washington.
The pacific high pressure is forecast to be fairly dynamic as it weakens and retrogrades from its current Longitude of about 140 degrees, with another high building out at about 160 degrees longitude. The GFS model then has the new high pressure building and moving east to a pressure of 1030 mb centered at about 42N 148 West by early Tuesday.
Inland of California and Nevada will still be heating, continuing the inland thermal low, but, initially, there will not be the nearby high pressure to increase the pressure gradients (remember more pressure change/gradient over short distance means higher winds). Thus the wind speeds along the Oregon and California coasts should be less over the next couple of days. Now bring in the Pacific NW weather keeping things cooler in WA and Oregon all the way to the CA border. As the high pressure builds and pushes back to the east the pressure gradients will increase, BUT the location of the strongest gradients look like they will be further south. Right now it appears there will be stronger NW winds from about Cape Mendocino or perhaps Point Reyes South at least to Point Conception, really starting to crank up on Sunday evening. North of Cape Mendocino to Blanco it does appear that the gradients are not going to back off as much as I previously forecast for the Weds – Sat period and there should be some decent sailing in the Southern Oregon to SF area from now through this weekend. So maybe it won't be a motorboat ride after all.
Those of you in Newport – if you wish to avoid strong winds near SF, you best get going. It looks like it will start cranking up come Sunday afternoon in the waters south of Mendocino for the foreseeable future.
Here is my 4 day forecast:
Today August 27, 2014
OR – N winds 10-20 with gusts to 25. Seas are likely to be the most challenging around Cape Blanco where they will be interacting with the south swell. Seas, NW swell at 3', 8 seconds and N to NW wind waves 2-5'. S -SW swell to 3' at 15 seconds. Keep in mind you can always expect fog this time of year in this area of the world, usually worst in the mornings
N. CA – N to NW winds 5-15 with possible periods or gusts to 20. Seas, Combined wind wave and swell from the NW to 4' at 8 seconds. S swell 5-6 feet at 15 seconds. Ditto on the fog thing I mentioned for OR.
This is probably a good time to mention Four Fathom bank also known as the "Potato Patch". It is well marked on your charts and resides to WNW of the entrance of SF bay and is just north of the main channel. Much of the time conditions are fine in this area, but when conditions are right (larger waves with opposing wind and or current) you will get breaking waves. It's possible we will have those conditions over the next 4 days. It's probably best to chart a course either side of the bank. For those that have internet here is a link to a You-tube video showing breaking waves at this bank:
Thursday August 28
OR – N wind 10-20 with higher gust possible. Seas, combined wind waves and swell to 5 or 6' at 8 seconds. South swell nearer the border with CA, 3' at 15 seconds.
N. CA – N to NW wind 5-20 with the stronger breeze building in the afternoon or evening hours. NW waves to 5' at 7 seconds. S swell to 5-7' at 13 seconds
Friday August 29
OR – N to NW wind 5-15, getting lighter in the late evening. Seas NW waves 3-4' at 9 seconds. Near CA border you can expect S swell to 2' at 12 seconds
N. CA – N to NW wind 10-20 possibly building to 25 closer to SF. Seas, NW swell 3-5' at 9 seconds with wind waves to 2-6'. S. swell 3-5' at 11 seconds .
Saturday August 30
OR – W to NW winds 0-10 knots, Seas, waves to 2-3'. Probably foggy or misty at times.
N. CA – how about NNW wind 10-25 with NNW waves to 8'. More wind toward SF. There will likely be some left over S swell to 3' as well.
Sunday August 31 (is it really already the end of August? Arrgh)
OR – wind W to NW or even N 5-15 knots. The further south you go the more wind you will get and the further N it will be. Seas, NW swell to 5 feet with wind waves 2-4'
N. CA – NW wind 10-30, with the wind building in the afternoon and evening hours. The strongest winds will be closer to SF. Seas, NW swell 6-8 feet at 8 seconds with wind waves 3-7 feet. The SW swell still probably there to 3' at a period of 10 seconds or so. Bumpy for sure.