Autumn, geese and and North Pacific High depart to the south.

NW winds fade on the California coast.NPHautum

by Mike Godsey

Its that time of year. The average location of the NPH drops south of the Bay Area and focuses west of the Southern California coast. And in the coming weeks the NPH will continue to shrink and move further south. Sometimes it will move towards the Baja Coast other times it will abandon the entire west coast. Today in this video we can see the NPH shoved south of the Bay Area by a storm system passing to the north.

Posted in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

North Pacific High takes refuge in winter vacation home.

San Carlos, Baja Norte is center of the wind universe.SanCarlosNWbaySW

by Mike Godsey,

Ever wondered where the North Pacific High goes to when it abandons the California coast in late fall? Sometimes it just disappears from the pacific but more often it moves closer to the equator. And at times it lurks near its winter vacation home just west of Baja. And on those day Punta San Carlos has great wave sailing.

In this animation you can see most of the Pacific is a mess is you are looking for quality wind. The Bay Area is preparing for weak southerly storm winds. Hawaii is bracing for hurricane Ana. And there just west of Baja sits “our” North Pacific High creating NW winds for the hardy souls camped on the bluff enjoying perfect side offshore wave sailing.

Posted in Columbia River Gorge, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

Battered North Pacific High sulks west of Southern California and Baja

So NW clearing winds between storms.StormTinyNPH

by Mike Godsey,

As you know the waters between California and Hawaii are dominated by the clockwise winds of the North Pacific High most of the summer. But as winter approaches huge counter-clockwise spinning storm systems like the one you see in this video shove the NPH far to the south. And in this case hurricane Ana has taken over the southern parts of the North Pacific High’s home waters.

This time of the near the ITCZ which gives birth to the North Pacific High is also moving southward so the average location of the North Pacific High keeps moving to the south even as the North Pacific High weakens.

Oh…. you are wondering what the heck ITCZ means? Google it and next spring, when the ITCZ moves northward and the NPH moves towards California I will do a blog on it.

Posted in San Francisco

Hawaii and hurricane Ana…

HurricaneAnnaTodayTrade winds

give way to

Hurricane winds.HurricaneNearHawaii 

by Mike Godsey,

Hurricane Ana currently a modest hurricane SW of Hawaii should have at least 75 knot winds by this weekend. And it’s modeled trajectory has it coming right over Maui.

The first video shows Ana’s current location while the second video shows Ana’s modeled location on Oct, 18.

When hurricanes are near land or currents like the Gulf Stream the models lose accuracy but over the open ocean they are pretty accurate so if you are kiting or windsurfing the North Pacific High’s trade winds today get ready for smaller gear by Sunday. Probably GUSTY UP AND DOWN winds…..

Posted in Columbia River Gorge, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

Watch North Pacific High retreat in the face of a wintry storm system.

NPH’s wind turn from NW to NNW and Bay Area winds weaken. Then southerly storm winds.NPHretreatsStrom

by Mike Godsey,

At the beginning of the video  notice the date of Oct 11 and how the North Pacific High dominates the lower 2/3 of the screen creating NW wind on the California coast. Then abruptly as the date changes to Oct. 12 a storm system drops from the Gulf of Alaska and the North Pacific High retreats southward. Notice as this happens how the Northern California coast winds switch from the typical summer NW wind to unfavorable NNW winds that are much less likely to  make it into the Bay Area. And by Tuesday Oct. 13 those weak southerly storm winds will begin to come over the Bay Area.

Posted in San Francisco

To the west Super Typhoon Vongfong, to the east the North Pacific High

We tend to think that strong things come in big packages but…Typhoon

by Mike Godsey,

Looking to the east in this video from Oct. 11, 2014 notice the North Pacific High. The NPH spans well over 3000 miles from the Oregon Border to pass Hawaii. But its clockwise spinning winds are maxing out at about 25 knots. To the west find Super Typhoon Vongfong. This storm spans several hundred miles buts its counter-clockwise spinning winds are averaging 150 knots with gusts far stronger. This is a huge storm larger than the state of Texas but it is tiny compared to the NPH. But far stronger!

Posted in Columbia River Gorge, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

North Pacific High winds build on coast. But…

Inbound storm poised to bring an end to NW coast winds

by Mike Godsey,


Posted in San Francisco

Typhoon Vongfong as seen from ISS Flyover

by Weatherflow Meteorologist Kerry Anderson

Here is an incredible view of Super Typhoon Vongfong as the Internation Space Station passed overhead on October 9, 2014. At that time the storm was at the height of its strength with reported sustained winds of 178 mph and gusts to 190 mph. Notice how perfectly symmetrical the eye looks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Vongfong with Okinawa

 The latest satellite picture shows the center of the storm just to the north of the Okinawa.  Winds are now (Saturday Oct 11, 2015 9am PDT) being reported just over 100mph.

Hurricane VongFong

Posted in Weather Blog

Año Nuevo clearing suggest modest NW wind from Waddell to Natural Bridges

What in the world is Año Nuevo clearing?

by Mike Godsey,

Año Nuevo clearing2Those of you who make the drive to Waddell and points south are well acquainted with Año Nuevo clearing and the racing of your heart as you finally round a fog shrouded curve and see impossibly blue skies near Año Nuevo. But for Bay sailors the frequent comment about Año Nuevo clearing in the forecast may seem cryptic. So I made this animation so you can see what it looks like. The reason Año Nuevo clearing is so important to Santa Cruz area winds is complex and one day I will  do a blog on super critical flow and  the magic Waddell’s complex wind machine.

And even if you do not ply the coast waters early Año Nuevo clearing is a good sign for Crissy, Coyote & 3rd. since it typically is a harbinger of clearing at those sites.

Posted in San Francisco

Forecasting Catalina Eddies.

Happy to see the marine layer back.

Happy to see the marine layer back.

by Weatherflow Meteorologist Kerry Anderson

The first thing I did this morning was go outside on my deck and check to see if the marine layer was back.  I know that is pretty atypical but as a meteorologist I want to check whether my forecast is accurate.  My friends know that I don’t always care what the weather is, just that it is what I said it would be.



Wind field.  Note the south easterly winds along the coastline.

Wind field Oct 9, 2014



Yesterday WeatherFlow’s RAMS model, available exclusively via WeatherFlow products like windAlert, was showing the hints of a large Catalina Eddy developing.  Well it was right on the money.  This morning’s wind observation network shows the the south easterly flow along the east side of the eddy.  Because it is so large we don’t have stations far enough out to catch the northwesterly flow on the back side but the computer models clear show the rotating air flow in the California Bight.



Visible Satellite showing the center of the eddy northwest of Catalina Island

Visible Satellite showing the center of the eddy northwest of Catalina Island

The marine layer depth has grown to 2400 feet allowing the cloud deck to move into the the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, which will help to shut down the extreme heat we have been seeing but also, as expected, drop the strength of the afternoon sea breezes.

Posted in Los Angeles, San Diego