Monday, May 19, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Is that a nice S swell or are you just happy to see me?

So the new S swell was coming on pretty strong on Monday. Naturally the surf was coming up because I was stuck in a business conference in Anaheim all day…(you may send me emails of thanks at a later time for the human sacrifice)…from all of the various reports that I got it sounded like the swell was hitting the OC the most with decent size in both LA and SD as well. Though I didn’t see it personally I heard the Wedge was pushing double-overhead+ on sets. (Send over some pictures to torture me if you have them...I in turn will post them to torture others and the circle of pain can continue.)

Anyway on Tuesday…well the good news is that the S swell will finally peak and we will see some steadily increasing NW windswell arriving through the afternoon to break up the southern hemi energy. The bad news is that the winds are going to get to it a bit more than they did on Monday.

San Diego, Los Angeles, and Ventura
Surfwise…look for most of San Diego and LA to have surf in the shoulder-head high range for Tuesday morning. Both of the winter areas in each region will get bigger and more consistent (and probably start to see overhead sets) as the new NW windswell arrives later in the day. The S facing standouts should have a few overhead sets mixing in for most of the day. Ventura will see the same sizes but with fewer spots exposed to S swell and more exposed to the building NW swell in the afternoon.

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara will be a bit more shadowed from each swell. Look for surf in the waist-chest high range for the better exposed areas in the morning. Standout NW facing windswell spots will have some bigger shoulder high+ sets by the afternoon.

Orange County
The OC is going to be the biggest tomorrow thanks to its ability to focus S swells, particularly in the North County areas. Look for most S facing breaks to have consistent shoulder-overhead surf while the top spots see sets going a couple of feet overhead+ on the better tides. Extreme focal points, like the Wedge (and others), will have sets going several feet overhead and I wouldn’t be surprised to continue to see some double-overhead+ peaks rolling through. South OC will be a touch smaller than the northern areas but will still have plenty of swell showing. NW windswell fills in through the afternoon…and will most likely bring winds along with it.

Winds and Weather
The eddy spins up a touch more on Tuesday (Wednesday is looking really poopy)…look for S-SE winds around 3-5 knots in the morning. WNW winds around 10-15 knots build in the afternoon. Expect more fog and low clouds in the morning.

Your Best Bet
Sorry for all the headers…just thought I would break it out a little better since there is so much crapola going on…anyway with as much swell coming in we have a lot of choices for surf. Personally I would try to surf in the morning before the winds get too strong. I would also try and stick to spots that protection from the S winds and yet still have some exposure to the S swell…sort of tough to do but worth it if you can pull it off. Look for the biggest surf through North OC…and probably a lot of closeouts on the bigger sets until the NW windswell gets going a bit more.


Anonymous said...

I live few miles inland in north county san diego. I can generally get a feel for the wind by checking the palm trees in my yard.

In using the Internet to determine if a low pressure system is moving more quickly or slower to the south (and bringing unfavorable wind), is there a particular site you would recommend or is it as simple as checking current wind conditions for towns up the coast? Thanks.

cheerupcheerio said...

you're the best :)

Adam Wright said...

To answer the first post...the type of low-pressure is pretty important. If it is an eddy low like we have right now then the low can spin up right in place and doesn't really "approach" from anywhere.

If it is an actual frontal storm or low-pressure then you can get a good read on the system using the larger scale models from NOAA and the NWS.

Here are a couple of options for wind that I use.

This one is good for the local eddy. It doesn't give you much advance warning but it does show you what is going on it nice graphical form. If you use it with other weather forecasts you can give you a good read on stuff.

Here is a good one for looking at large scale weather systems. (there is an error with their certificate but just click through and it is fine.)

Cheerupcheerio - Hey thanks for the kudos!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my Q. Just like you said in your forecast I was able to drive south into La Jolla and found a spot that held the wind for a bit. The odd thing though is that there were actually spots north of La Jolla that were clean or slightly offshore even though Oceanside had a nasty south wind w/ rain at sunrise.