Monday, September 29, 2008

Swell Alert for NorCal - Did someone order winter swell?

Hey gang...looks like the NPAC is starting to get pretty active...current forecast charts are calling for a strong storm to form in the Gulf of Alaska in about 4-5 days.

I wanted to give you a heads up but personally I am still sort of taking the current North Pacific long-range forecasts with a grain of salt...they get a bit squirrely as we switch seasons and sometimes they can overcall the first few swells before they get dialed in. Hopefully this will come together like the model is indicating but I would definitely plan on waiting for updates before committing any money or travel time to this one.

Based on the current forecasts we are going to see this new storm move into the Gulf with 40-knot+ winds, and seas in 30-35' range. A lot of the seas will be raw sloppy storm swell but there will be some pretty significant medium/long-period swell energy hiding in there as well.

The majority of the energy from this system will be aimed at Northern and Central California...SoCal will get some swell from this storm but Point Conception and the Nearshore islands are going to shadow most of the energy and wave heights will be much, much smaller than spots further north.

Check out the WavewatchIII forecast...this is about 4.5 to 5 days out...

You can see on this model that most of the fetch and large seas are going to sit outside of the SoCal window.

Northern and Central California on the other hand are going to get the full dosage of the swell and probably weather as well. Hopefully the swell energy will be able to outrun the storm itself and set up a couple of days of heavy surf before the weather turns nasty.

At this point I am looking for this new W-WNW swell (280-300) to start hitting Northern and Central California late on October 4th...and then peaking with double-triple overhead+ surf by Oct 5-6th.

SoCal will see this energy late on the 5th...filling in the Northern Counties (like Santa Barbara and Ventura) before sunset...but the main push of NW swell (290-300) will hit on the 6th and hold over into the 7th. I am looking for the better winter spots to see shoulder-head high surf at this point...maybe a few bigger sets at the top spots.

As always with these types of storms a lot depends on how the system actually make sure to check back for updates (maybe SoCal will get lucky with more fetch in our window!)


Anonymous said...

Why does the swell window angle to the north slightly and then go straight west further out in the pacific? Thanks Adam for all u do!

cheerupcheerio said...

sweet! I am content with possible shoulder- head high surf... good ol' SD for me :)