Monday, January 28, 2008

Tuesday’s Surf – A small break in the weather

Tuesday looks surfable…if you don’t mind getting some sort of flesh eating bacteria or bitten by a rattlesnake that has gotten flushed down a storm drain.

Our surf, a mix of local windswell and some WNW/SW background energy, will continue to send in waist-shoulder high surf. Standout breaks will have some bigger sets at times through the morning.

Winds are expected to lighten up…OC and San Diego will have light onshore flow around 10 knots out of the W-NW. LA and Ventura areas will have light/variable winds through the morning. Expect all areas to have onshore NW winds around 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

Water quality will continue to be poor/hazardous despite the improving shape.

Your best bet for surf will be during the dawn patrol through about mid-morning. It isn’t going to be totally glassy but the winds should be the lightest through the morning. I would definitely look to breaks that work better on the shorter period W swells. Some of the point breaks throughout SoCal, (SB all the way through SD), seem to like them…and you will have a better chance at getting a more protected section.


spencer said...

It seems that sometimes it might be safer to surf during a storm or shortly after rather than waiting a couple of days for the run off to spread, am I wrong in thinking this?

Adam Wright said...


It really sort of depends on exactly where you are surfing. If you are at a spot that isn't affected by runoff (you know basically not by a river, storm drain, or some other sort of drainage), then you probably would have a short window before a lot of the pollutants make their way into the ocean.

Once there is significant rainfall, even if it lasts only a couple of hours, then you want to avoid going in the water...the water quality/health agencies always see the highest concentrations of bacteria and pollutants right at the source of the run-off...then as it moves further away it mixes with the sea-water and eventually the parts-per-million drop back to a less toxic level. Once it stops raining, and we see the level of run-off drop, this process takes place along all of the coastline.

So to answer your question...during a storm, particularly one that has just started, then yes it is probably ok....shortly afterwards you are probably going to want to continue to avoid water least for a couple of days.