Sunday, August 10, 2008

Surf on Monday – More Tropical S-swell

Monday is looking pretty surfable.

We are going to have a mix of tropical S swell from Hurricane Hernan, some background SSW energy from the Southern Hemisphere, and some local WNW windswell.

Most exposed breaks will be in the waist-chest high range with some less consistent shoulder high sets.

Standout S facing spots, excellent combo breaks, and spots that traditionally break well on shorter-period S swells will have surf in the chest-shoulder-head high range. The top spots, mostly in North Orange County, will have some overhead faces mixing in at times.

Winds are forecast to be on the light side through the morning but expect some light onshore texture at the open beaches. W winds will build fairly early mid-morning and should top out around 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

Here is a shot of the O-side buoy…that I grabbed on Sunday evening…you can see the tropical S swell showing pretty well. Even though the hurricane reached Cat-3 it doesn’t look like it had a grip of time to establish fetch for this swell, the swell periods showing on the buoy are a good indication of this…the peak of the energy is really between 10-12 second periods…if the storm had been moving slower, or more towards SoCal, we would have likely seen longer periods (probably 14-16 second periods).

It doesn’t really matter a ton except that a shorter swell period means that the energy will wrap and filter through our coastline (and nearshore islands) a little bit different than a longer-period swell will…sometimes this can really help shape, and sometimes it makes it even crappier…a lot depends on the break and the rest of the swell mix. I think that tomorrow it may make it worth hunting around some different S facing won't be all time or anything but it may be a bit better than you would expect. Still if you are short on time or gas-money I would probably stick with the classics and try and watch the tide swing as well…mushy semi-windswelly S swell doesn’t really get better on a higher tide.

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