Sometimes you have to stand back and be amazed by what goes on in the Pacific. Take a look at the Pacific surface analysis for earlier today:
See the HUGE low pressure system over the eastern Pacific with a central (lowest) pressure of 933 millibars. That is simply amazing. And a 1038 mb high is just to the north, and an incredible pressure difference between them.
This pressure is the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, as shown in the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale shown below:
A huge, deep, slow moving storm like this produces very large waves, since waves depend on wind speed, fetch (length of area where winds are influencing the sea surface), and wind duration--all very large in this case.
Here is a prediction of wave height for tomorrow at 10 AM our time based on the National Weather Service WaveWatch3 model:
We are talking about 40 ft waves! Hawaii is going to get hit hard tomorrow--some of the expert surfers on the north side of Oahu are probably licking their chops tonight! In fact, the NWS has put out a high surface warning already for waves reaching 30-40 feet.An interesting aside--because of improvements of weather prediction we have less surface observations in such storms than we used to. When weather predictions were bad commercial and fishing vessels would find themselves in the middle of such behemoths. If they survived they provided some interesting data. Today's vessels generally avoid these storms--not good for weather prediction but that is ok--today we have other assets, many based on satellites.
In contrast we will be having lamb-like weather here with sunny skies, light winds, and temperatures in the 40s tomorrow. With all the rain and warm temperatures the snowpack in the central Cascades is now below normal...not the usual story for La Nina year...and nothing interesting is expected for days.
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