Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Swell Alert: Hawaii, NorCal, and SoCal (well is a sissy-girl sort of way)

I am sure that you all have been getting the alerts from the forecast websites…but in case you are living under a digital rock somewhere I thought I would throw in my 2 cents.

There is a pretty big storm brewing in the North Pacific right now.

Sorry I am about to weather-geek out for a second. This storm is very intense…check out how freaking tight the rotation is around the core of this storm…

This caption should read "Adam you are such as weather nerd that it actually hurts sometimes…"

The Quikscat satellite is showing 50-70 knots of wind in the center of the storm with a lot of the fetch aiming towards both Hawaii and the West Coast.

So you are saying “yeah yeah big storm…great…so when do the waves get here?”

Well for Hawaii they hit on Feb 14th. It will peak there early in the morning and should be steamrolling spots by sun-up. Most N-WNW facing spots will have easy 10-12+15’ Hawaiian-sized surf. Standout deepwater breaks will have some bigger sets at times.

Since the storm is moving past the islands the swell doesn’t last long…so expect it to drop fast as we head into the 15th.

The WNW swell (275-310) hits NorCal on the 15th…it builds in pretty fast through the day but it looks like it actually peaks overnight into the 16th.

The swell will be pretty large north of Point Conception with lots of spots going easy 6-8’ on the face while better NW breaks see 10-15’ faces. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a pretty decent sized swell at Maverick’s from this one as well (particularly on the lower tides).

We get a much wussier version of this swell compared to the other regions. (if only we could nuke the nearshore islands and shave off point conception…). That being said we should still have plenty of fun. Look for this WNW swell (280-300) to fill in fast on Feb 16th and then hold into the 17th.

Most spots down our way will have some shadowing so wave heights will be consistently in the chest-head high range at most W facing beaches. Standout NW breaks, again in the usual spots in San Diego, Ventura, and the South Bay, will have sets going overhead and overhead+ at times. Right now winds look good for this swell too.

Check back I will have more details as we get closer to the swell’s arrival. (Oh and make sure to check out the surf cams in Hawaii and Valentine’s day…it should be pretty sick. Wavewatch.com has free cams if you are too cheap, like me, to pay for them.)

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