The Recent-Forecast page provides access to all of the products
generated by CDIP's 3-day and 5-day forecast models. For complete
details about the 3-day models, please refer to the
3-day forecast description
page. For the 5-day models, please refer to
5-day description page.
Note that all of the forecast products use Pacific Standard Time
(PST) and units of feet. User-selected timezones and units
are not supported.
A Description of Forecast Model Products.
Offshore Wave Height Forecast Plot This is the plot displayed
at the top of the CDIP Recent-Forecast page. These are forecasted significant
wave heights from the NOAA global Wavewatch III model for the two deep
water sites off California used in the coastal wave models:
- Pt. Conception - (34N 121W, used to make coastal predictions in
southern and central California).
- San Francisco - (37N 123W, used to make coastal predictions from
Monterey Bay to Pt. Arena).
The plot is designed to provide a quick look at whether there is a big deep
water wave event on the horizon that may impact the coastline. The
line of approximately 13 ft. is based on historical
storms in southern California. Forecasts of offshore waves exceeding this
threshold do not necessarily mean damaging coastal waves will occur (for
example the waves can come from the northwest and southern California is
sheltered by Pt. Conception). It is provided as a guideline for when you
may want to look at more detailed plots of coastal forecasts.
Wave Height Maps (San Diego to Pt. Arena)
These are similar to CDIP real-time swell maps, but include short period
local seas. Regions along the coastline are clipped from the larger
modeling area and rotated so that 3 forecast days can be stacked on a
single plot. The wave height scale on these plots is fixed between 0 and
27+ feet. As with the Southern California swell maps, the time lag for
waves to propagate from offshore waters to the coast are not accounted
for in these images.
Coastal Wave Height Plots (Southern California Only) These are
also similar to CDIP's real-time swell predictions of alongcoast wave
height. They are a plot of the model results along the 10m depth contour.
They are not breaking wave heights. Generally, the 10m depth contour is
outside the surf zone (area of depth-induced wave breaking). However,
when the wave height exceeds roughly 15 ft., 10m is the outer end of the
surf zone and the plotted height will be larger than what would actually
occur at 10m depth. Nevertheless, it does provide an idea of how much wave
energy is reaching the coast relative to other locations. Higher wave
energy generally leads to higher water levels and wave runup at the
Coastal Wave + Tide Plots (Southern California Only) These
plots combine predicted tides and forecasted wave heights in 10m depth
(described above) on a site by site basis in southern California. The
combined height is defined as the "Potential Flooding Index". They
provide a clear view of when forecasted storm waves are going to be
coincident with high tides.