Saturday, February 23, 2008

Swell Alert Update: Big West Swell on the way.

The storm has finally developed and it is currently an angry ball of intense low pressure sitting just off the California coast.

Like I mentioned last night we aren’t see a ton of size on the outer buoys because the storm is so close but I did see winds on Buoy #46059 hit over 50-knots this morning, which means that winds were still tearing things up in the weaker hemisphere of the storm.

The QUIKSCAT satellite is estimating nearly 60-65+ knots of wind in the more powerful half of the storm (you know…the part that is heading right toward us). Those wind speeds are almost equal to Category 1 hurricane speeds.

Check out this shot from QUIKSCAT...

And this new satellite photo from NOAA

Surf for this swell
Looking at the forecast today I think that I may have been a little conservative on my wave heights for this swell.

Timing and everything are still the same…expect some building energy Sunday afternoon with the peak of the swell arriving overnight and into Monday.

As the swell peaks wave heights will be consistently in the 8-10’+ range at W facing breaks.

Standout deepwater breaks in San Diego, Ventura, the South Bay, North OC, and southern Santa Barbara will have surf consistently in the 10-15’ range (double- to triple-overhead faces) and there will be some bigger sets mixing in at times.

Big wave spots, like Todos Santos and others, will be even bigger…possibly even doubling those sizes at times.

Sunday looks pretty junky for all areas…SW winds 15-25 knots are expected along with heavy rain throughout the day. Water quality will drop right back in the crapper again (literally and figuratively).

Monday the storm front is supposed to clear through and winds will shift back to the NW as the storm passes on. Expect NW winds 10-15+20 knots through most of the day.

Best Chance for Surf on this Swell
There will be plenty of swell showing all throughout SoCal from this storm so finding waves won’t really be that tough.

Finding Quality Surf is going to be a bit trickier.

Your best bet is to head to a protected spot. The more sheltered a spot is from the full force of this swell, and the NW winds, the better shape it will probably be. S-facing breaks may actually be really good spots to check on Monday morning.

Here are a couple of reasons:

1. There is enough W-angle (and raw size) in this swell that it will wrap some decent size waves into S facing breaks.

2. S-facing spots generally have some protection from NW winds.

There are plenty of breaks that have this sort of set-up. Personally I would check the northern areas of Santa Barbara, North LA County, Central/South OC…with the goal of looking at spots that are generally smaller and less consistent than the “top” breaks…spots that are usually just longboard waves would be good to check out.

Be safe and have fun!…try and send me some surf pictures of this swell, even if it is just blown out or whatever…(I will post them on the blog…just email me at caine12 @ gmail)

If you need them for some are links to the previous posts about storm

Storm Update: A Round in the chamber
Swell Alert Update: The Big W swell for next week
Storm Watch 2008 or AKA “My, isn’t that a big red blob?”

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