Climate & Weather

Understanding the global weather systems that generate the swells we surf isn’t essential but it does allow you to better understand how waves are created and why the surf varies from country to country. It also allows the keen forecaster to both double check the swell model forecast and in some circumstances make an even longer range guess as to future swells than current models allow.

Mentawai Trade Variation

While South Easterly trades are the dominant theme thoroughout Indonesia local variation can be significant around Western Sumatra, even at the same time of year. These images show the variation in September. South Eastern trade winds are the dominant force between the equator and about -30 degrees latitude. However the interplay of scattered islands, volcanic highlands and broader climatic patterns do come into play and as you approach the equator the Intertropical convergence zone means northerly and southerly trades can come together – the region known as the doldrums. The images below track the wind via satellite giving a monthly average for september over the past few years. 2010, 2009, […]

NPAC Storm El Nino Update

A storm force system in the North Pacific reminds us that Autumn is underway and glance to the latest El Nino forecast suggests that we could be in for an above average NPAC winter. The chart below shows a developing 970mb low pressure system forecast to move NE through the Aleutians steered by a blocking high pressure system that’ll mean potential for light local winds when the resulting blast of long period swell arrives in the Pacific North West over the weekend. It’s a timely reminder that Autumn is upon us and things should start to move into gear for Northern Hemisphere oceans. With this in mind a glance at […]

Satellite Wind Measurement

Magicseaweed builds its long range forecasts from a swell model that aims to predict exactly how waves will be created and then travel. To predict wave growth we need to know what the wind is doing. The more accurately we can gauge this the more accurate your surf forecast becomes. But we’ve a big task in hand. The swell arriving on the beach in Oregon could have originated thousands of miles away in the Southern Pacific, so we need to know exactly what the wind is doing over the whole globe. How do we figure this out? A fascination with weather is an age old part of the human condition, the ancient […]

Understanding Global Weather

If your interest is purely in getting stuck into surfing more waves you can probably skip this section, but spare just a moment and you’ll better understand not only how and why you see waves on the coast but, if you have any interest in travel, why different coasts and countries experience such different wave climates. Just about everything that happens on the rock we call Earth is sustained by energy that, ultimately, came from the Sun. With climate this is the absolute key driver in everything we experience. Starting at it’s very most basic the sun hits the earth and heats it’s surface, but it doesn’t do this equally […]