Friday, October 31, 2008

Waves for the weekend - Happy Halloween!

We are going to have some surf this weekend. The waves are already in the water but actual shape/conditions are going to depend a lot on the approaching cold front. Right now it looks like the storm is stalling out and won't be able to push as much wind/rain over SoCal as the earlier forecasts predicted...we may still get some weather Sunday and Monday but it looks a lot more rideable on Saturday.

Hopefully this storm will fizzle out completely before it gets to the SoCal coast and just let us have the surf without jacking up our winds and weather.

Oh by the way the Daylight Savings Time switch is this weekend...make sure to set your clocks (Saturday night at 2am!)

To make the forecast a little more clear I broke each day out into its own section.

Saturday's Surf - The new SW'er (190-210) will hold while WNW (280-300) energy begins to build. Most spots will push into the waist-chest high+ range. The standout SW facing spots and the good combo spots will have chest-head high sets through the morning and some potentially overhead sets by the afternoon.

Saturday's weather - Looks like we could get a surf window on Saturday...winds are expected to be light and variable through the morning and then stay on the light side (under 10-knots) through most of the afternoon. Hopefully it will be clean enough that we can finally get some halfway decent combo swell.

Sunday's Surf - The SW swell holds but a new pulse of W-WNW swell (270-300) starts to arrive. It will be showing pretty well in Santa Barbara and Ventura in the morning but won't really get going in LA, OC, and SD until late in the afternoon evening (it will peak in those areas overnight into Monday). Average spots will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range while the standout W facing breaks and the combo spots see overhead sets.

Sunday's Weather - Not as good as Saturday...W winds around 5-10 knots through the morning with some increasing clouds. W winds 10-20 knots by the afternoon with the potential for gusts topping out around 25 knots.

Saturday will likely be the best day...but not the biggest since the majority of the W-WNW swell arrives Sunday and Monday. Still there should be plenty of surf at the well exposed spots. San Diego will have the most size/consistency overall but there will be fun waves at most of the better combo spots throughout the other regions as well. I don't think that you will have to drive too far for surf, there will waves all over, but you may want to focus on spots that aren't super wind sensitive.

Sunday...well I am not ready to write off Sunday totally...but personally I am going to be keeping a "weather eye" on conditions around my house as well as the buoys and the cams...I am hoping that winds stay light through the morning, at least enough that we can get a few waves before the winds come up.

Here are the tides...

12:14AM 3.4' High
04:13AM 2.7' Low
10:34AM 5.4' High
06:29PM 0.3' Low

01:24AM 3.2' High
03:30AM 2.9' Low
10:07AM 5.1' High
06:24PM 0.6' Low

And finally have a great holiday tonight...Happy Halloween! Stay safe!

Random Surf Report - A couple of Halloween nuggets

The wind can't really make up its mind this morning, neither can the weather...but both are leaning in our favor right now. About the only thing that is still a bit weak-sauce is the giant high tide that we are slowly trying to creep past.

I just took a tour of the beach breaks up here in North OC and there were a few fun, but soft looking bowls coming through. Winds had gone from light, to onshore, and were now offshore, but looking outside as I type this it looks like they are have slipped back to light/variable. Really what I am saying is f#$k the is just messing with us.

Here is the latest shot from the COAMPS forecast.

Surfwise the little SW swell has filled in a touch more and it looks like some increasing WNW energy is also starting to creep up on the it is starting to get a bit more surfable.

Most waves were in the waist to chest high range but occasionally I would see a shoulder high was soft but I did see a couple of guys shwacking it when it set up right.

I don't know how long this little window will last but if you are close the beach it might be worth a quick surf check...particularly if the wind holds off enough to let the tide drop a little bit.

Anyways I might go and dress up like a surfer for a couple of hours if everything holds together.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Friday's Surf - we have rain to go with our small waves

Friday is not going to be surf day. Our swell will be mostly smaller leftovers and it looks like there is a chance at some rain as well.

We are going to have a mix of small SW energy...there is actually a new SW'er (195-210+) that is slowly starting to fill in but it doesn't really get going until the afternoon...we will also have some building WNW windswell starting to filter in about the same time.

On average we can expect most spots in the knee-waist high range...maybe a few plus sets starting to show at the really exposed combo spots in San Diego. A few of the top breaks may get to about chest high+ during the afternoon. The tide swing is going to honk us up expect very swampy shape as the tide peaks around midmorning.

Winds and weather are going to be a bit funky as well...there is a cold front moving over the Cali coast over the next couple of days (actually it is two tomorrow and one Sunday/Monday)...and it is supposed to bring some increasing wind as well as a bit of rain showers. Right now it looks like most of the showers will hit up around SB and Ventura but they are saying it may spread further south as well.

Check out the winds for tomorrow looks like increasing southerly winds for the Northern Counties (SB, Ventura) and lighter SE winds further south. A lot will depend on how fast the front moves so make sure to use the surf cams and live wind observations to get a good read on things at your local breaks tomorrow.

Really with the lack of swell and less than stellar conditions I am not expecting much surf. San Diego spots might be OK before the high tide but it is still going to be fairly sketchy from a weather/wind standpoint. Personally I am way more fired up that my oldest son (a 3 year old) is going as Optimus Prime for Halloween.

Have a great holiday tomorrow!

Here are the tides

03:53AM 2.4' Low
10:06AM 5.7' High
05:44PM 0.1' Low

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thursday's Surf - zzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday is again not looking like a surf day. There will be some rideable waves here and there as we move around the high tide but overall there isn't going to be a ton of swell in the water.

We are going to have a mix of mostly leftover SW energy and a few small WNW blips and weak local windswell.

Average spots will be in the knee high+ range while the better exposed breaks see some knee-waist high+ sets on the lower tides. Standout breaks down in San Diego will have some chest-high+ sets sneaking through at times.

Winds are looking light again in the morning but we may have some small texture from that on/off fog bank that has been holding over the area. Look for NW winds 10-15 knots through the afternoon. Here is a NWS weather can see the fog in yellow.

Again I am not really excited about the surf tomorrow...I think it is going to be small and soft and have a lot of tide issues through midmorning. If you don't mind the longboard or fishy shapes you might be able to get a couple of semi-workable ones, particularly if you are down in San Diego (it ain't worth driving there). Other spots will be smaller and softer.

Here are the tides

03:32AM 2.1' Low
09:40AM 5.9' High
05:04PM -0.1' Low
11:23PM 3.6' High

Swell Update - W-WNW swell for later this weekend

Hey gang...thought I would send out an update on the new storms forecast to form over the next couple of days.

I am still not really fired up on their swell potential but they are looking more and more like they will send us a few waves.

What I am seeing is a couple of different low-pressures moving into the lower edge of the Gulf of Alaska and pushing close to the California Coast (close enough to give some rain and wind to Northern/Central California and possibly even to us in SoCal).

The first storm has already started to move into position but won't be much of a swell producer. Check out the quikscat image from this system.

You can see that the majority of the winds (which aren't very strong) are moving North and South with only a few small fetches that actually set up towards us.

Really the most important storm is the second one which is forecast to be more intense and have a much more dominate west-to-east push, both of which mean bigger waves.

Check out the second storm on this sea-level pressure chart...

What does this mean? Well at this point I am expecting some increasing W-WNW swell (270-300 degrees with most of the energy around 285-300) arriving in Santa Barbara/Ventura late on Sunday Nov 2nd and the rest of SoCal overnight into Monday Nov 3rd.

At this point it looks good for surf in the chest-head high range for most WNW exposed spots and the possibility for some head high surf at the standouts in San Diego (and maybe in Ventura/South Bay as well.) Periods look pretty short...right in the 10-12 second range which will sort of make this one feel like a punchy windswell.

There is still quite a bit of storm development to go before this swell is completely "in the water" so keep checking back I will have more updates as it pulls together.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wednesday's Waves - A good reason to get some chores done

Wednesday is not really going to be a surf day. There will be a few "rideable" (and I use the term loosely) waves at some of breaks that can power through the morning tide but overall I am not expecting much.

We have a couple of leftover swells in the water...some weakening SW energy and touch of NW swell that is holding in the background. Here is the CDIP from this is going to be very similar tomorrow.

Look for most spots to be in the knee-waist high range tomorrow, with nearly flat to shorebreaky shape as the high tide peaks midmorning. Top combo spots, mostly in San Diego, which is doing slightly better on picking up some of the NW energy, we will have some chest high sets...but again expect tide problems at most breaks.

Winds look ok in the morning...mostly light and variable through midmorning. Looks like there is still a chance at some least according to the NWS models but I would probably get up and check the cams for visibility and see if we get lucky like we did on Tuesday. Afternoon winds come onshore out of the NW around 10-15 knots.

I would probably plan on getting some work done tomorrow...or chores...or just catching up on some sleep...there just isn't much going on surfwise tomorrow. It won't be totally flat but it won't be worth spending much time surfing. That being said it won't be a bad beginner day, the waves will be soft, probably uncrowded, so you might be able to get a little training session in. Bring your small wave gear, longboards will be best, and try and pick a spot that can handle the tide.

03:10AM 1.8' Low
09:16AM 6.0' High
04:28PM -0.2' Low
10:39PM 3.8' High

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Where'd who go!

Tuesday will probably be rideable but I don't think it will be much of a surf day. The swell mix is dropping, there is a 6' high tide in the morning, and it looks like that brutal fog bank is going to be back tomorrow as well.

Our surf will be a mix of dropping SW swell (190-200), some weak NW energy (295-300+) and some weak local windswell. Most spots will be around knee-waist high. Standout SW spots and the good combo breaks, mostly throughout San Diego, will have some chest-chest high+ sets on the lower tides.

Winds look OK for the morning, mostly light and under 10-knots, unfortunately there will be some breeze associated with the fog which will keep things textured and a touch sloppy at the more exposed breaks. Look for the fog to move out and onshore winds to build in around 10-15 knots out of the NW during the later afternoon.

As you can tell I am not super excited about the surf tomorrow. Something about trying to power through the chilly fog to surf a fading swell, during a 6'+ high tide, with semi-textured conditions isn't all that appealing...especially since I just tore a nice hole in my wetsuit. (Can you say giant man in a little wetsuit?). Personally I think I am going to surf my pillow through the morning but I will probably keep an eye on the cameras...maybe we will get a little window of semi-clear visibility before the winds get on it.

Tides for Tuesday

02:46AM 1.5' Low
08:52AM 6.0' High
03:54PM -0.2' Low
09:58PM 4.0' High

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Combo swell fog patrol

Monday will be a surf day but we may have trouble seeing the waves during the dawn patrol thanks to some pockets of fog.

We are going to have a mix of a still healthy but fading SSW swell (190-200), some steeply angled NW swell (290-300 which means only a few spots will be able to pick up much of the energy), and some local NNW windswell. Check out the current CDIP model.

Most of the average spots are going to be in the chest high+ range tomorrow. The better SW facing spots will have some shoulder high+ sets. The Standout SW facing breaks and the best combo spots, mostly through San Diego, will have sets in the shoulder-head+ high range on the lower tides.

Winds look good for the morning. Mostly light and variable with some pockets of texture around the bigger fog banks. Currently it looks like most of the fog will be settling over OC and SD but we may see it push further up the coast as well…don’t be surprised. Afternoon winds build out of the NNW around 10-12+ knots.

I checked a few spots on Sunday and it still looked a bit lined up despite a touch more WNW energy trying to break it up. Don’t get me wrong it was peakier than the last couple of days but the beach breaks still had some walled up shape when the bigger sets rolled through. I still think we could have some peakier shape on Monday as more of the WNW swell pushes through but expect the best shape to continue to show at the points and reefs (SW facing and Combo spots) rather than the more open beach breaks. If you need to surf a beach break try and get a pier or jetty…basically something to break it up.

Here are the tides

02:21AM 1.2’ Low
08:28AM 5.9’ High
03:19PM 0.0’ Low
09:17PM 4.3’ High

Friday, October 24, 2008

Waves for the Weekend – SW swell holds while new NW swell starts to arrive

It is going to be a surf weekend. We are going to have a mix of SW and WNW swell, warm weather, light to light-offshore winds, (and probably plenty of crowded lineups to go along with it).

Our surf will be a mix of SW swell (190-210), that holds into Saturday before slowly fading out on Sunday, and small WNW energy that sort of hangs around through Saturday but increases as a new WNW pulse (290-300) starts to hit the northern counties (Ventura and LA) on Sunday before finally pushing into OC and SD later Sunday evening (and holding into Monday).

Here is a shot of the swell mix from this afternoon…you have to love SW swells sometimes.

And here is a shot of the CDIP forecast for the next few days…yes the sideways images are always annoying but once you get oriented you can see where the swell mix shows a bit better.

On Saturday average spots see chest-high+ surf while the average SW facing breaks see chest-head high waves. Standout SW facing breaks in Orange County and North San Diego will have some overhead faces through the morning.

Sunday will start out a little slower…more in the waist-chest high range at the average spots. A little bigger at the average SW facing breaks and close to shoulder high+ at the standout combo breaks. Looks like a few of top combo spots could see some chest-head high faces on the bigger sets in the afternoon (if you can find a spot not buried by the tide).

Winds look good for both days…look for light/variable to light offshore flow for the mornings and light/moderate onshore bump for the more exposed breaks through the afternoons.

I wish that there was a bit more WNW energy pushing through over the weekend…or at least the swell we are seeing would come in a bit more westerly. As it is…it looks like the SW swell is going to stay pretty lined up at the beach breaks…so we can expect some hollow but mostly closed out lefts marching down the beach. Points and reefs are going to have much better shape but since the beach breaks are sort of a lost cause it looks like the other spots are going to get pretty slammed crowdwise. I would plan on it being a bit frustrating at times.

Personally I am holding out some hope for Sunday/Monday. With a little luck the new WNW pulse will be strong enough to break up the fading SW’er…I don’t know about you but I am willing to sacrifice a little size to get a (mostly) uncrowded peak on a beach break somewhere…who knows maybe you like closeout lefts and crowded pointbreaks, you freak.

Have a great weekend!

Oh here are the tides...

01:23AM 0.5’ Low
07:39AM 5.4’ High
02:03PM 0.8’ Low
07:50PM 4.7’ High

01:54AM 0.8’ Low
08:04AM 5.7’ High
02:42PM 0.3’ Low
08:35PM 4.5’ High

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Friday's Surf - More SW swell for tomorrow

Friday will be another surf day. Our new SW swell will start to peak and winds/weather continue to look very nice as things stay hot and sunny and winds remain light.

You can already see the new SW swell hitting the is a shot of the Dana Point Buoy. Remember to check the live site for the latest data.

For the surf tomorrow we can expect this mix of SW swell (190-205), both with leftovers from earlier in the week and the new SW'er, to blend with some increasing energy from the WNW. The WNW'er will definitely be a background swell so look for the biggest waves at the SW facing spots...or good combo breaks.

Sizewise look for the average spots to see surf in the chest-high range. The better SW facing breaks in Ventura and LA will have some chest-shoulder high+ sets coming through. Standout SW facing breaks in Orange County and San Diego will see surf in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead sets mixing in at the top spots.

Winds will be mostly light offshore through the morning for all areas...maybe even some spots with moderate offshore texture. It doesn't look like a full blown Santa Ana or anything but it does look clean and a little chilly for the morning. Afternoon winds do eventually try and switch onshore but stay around 10-knots or so.

Again I managed to get a few waves around lunchtime on Thursday and the local beach breaks, that do really well pulling in SW swell, were mostly walled up. There were a couple of semi-makeable corners but mostly I was seeing sets come through with 5-6 guys taking off one right after another (about 20-yards apart) and everyone getting close out on. Occasionally there would be some heroic barrels before getting worked but I didn't see many people come out of them. So with that in mind I really think that the points/reefs are going to be the call tomorrow...beach breaks are going to be wally...and with some lovely current to paddle against as well.

Here are the tides for Friday.

12:46AM 0.3' Low
07:11AM 5.1' High
01:19PM 1.3' Low
07:00PM 4.8' High

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surf on Thursday - New SW swell starts to arrive

Thursday is going to be a surf day. We have a new SW swell that starts to arrive throughout the day and mixes with some nice conditions as a light Santa Ana pattern continues to hold throughout Southern California.

We will start off with a mix of leftover SPAC energy, local WNW windswell in the morning but new SW swell (190-210) and some new WNW energy will begin to fill fairly quickly and will start to be the dominant wave-maker by the afternoon.

Expect a conservative start to the day surfwise...most spots will hold in the waist-high range with some chest high+ sets coming through at the standout breaks. This will build into a more consistent chest-shoulder high sizes for the average breaks by the afternoon. Standout SW facing spots in Orange County and San Diego can expect surf in the shoulder-head high range by the afternoon and some bigger sets sneaking in right around sunset (wish it didn't get dark so early now...stupid planet tilt).

Winds look good...mostly light to moderately offshore for the morning, with the strongest winds moving through LA and Ventura Counties. These winds will hold through most of the morning. Look for mostly light/variable winds for the afternoon...but watch some of the more exposed beaches...sometimes these winds shift sideshore and onshore by the afternoon as the land inland heats up. Check out the COAMPS wind forecast.

I managed to sneak in a few waves at one of the local N. OC beach breaks on Wednesday and while there were a few hollow corners it was pretty walled up. That being said I am not really holding out a lot of hope for the beach break shape on this new SW'er that fills in tomorrow (and peaks Friday/Saturday). I think that the beaches are going to be pretty points and reefs are going be the best call. I don't think it will be worth driving around a ton tomorrow morning but as the swell starts to fill in more you should start to widen the hunt a bit. With the weather getting warm and a new swell filling in expect the crowd to start to come out too.

What I am hoping is that the mix of NW energy that increases over the weekend will help to break up this SW'er as it starts to fade out...cross your fingers...maybe we will get some more workable shape at the beach breaks in a few days.

Here are the tides for Thursday

12:03AM 0.1' Low
06:41AM 4.6' High
12:28PM 2.0' Low
06:02PM 4.8' High

North Pacific Storm - The Aleutians get the shaft

Hey gang...naturally as we have been moving into winter I have been paying closer attention to the North Pacific. And while we haven't had any real swell from this part of the ocean it has sent us a couple of small bumps.

So I was looking at a few of the charts and satellites that I use as forecasting tools and saw a pretty intense storm developing around the Aleutians.

The bad news is that this storm is too far to the north and the core of the energy is outside the Southern California swell window so we won't see much more than a small pulse of NW energy at a few select spots.

It will however send a pretty solid blast of long-period WNW energy for Northern and Central if you ever venture into the cold sharky waters north of Point Conception there will be some well overhead swell hitting later this weekend and into early next week.

Check out these images...the first are from the QuikSCAT...65-70 knots of wind in that big black blob over the those guys there are bummed!

And here is a visual shot from the GOES you an idea of what the clouds in a storm like that look like.
From a surf standpoint...this WNW swell (290-310+) will hit Northern and Central California on the 25th but doesn't peak in Central California (SF through Central Cal) until early on the 26th. At this point I would expect well-overhead surf at most exposed breaks...and double+ overhead at the standouts (and this is being on the conservative side).

SoCal gets a much smaller version of this swell (295-300+ with most of the energy above 300-degrees...bummer). Top exposed areas in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego will see chest high+ sets...standout breaks possibly getting near shoulder-head high on inconsistent sets. Peaks on late on the 26 and into the 27th...mostly on the 27th in San Diego.

I will have more details in the SoCal forecast as we get closer.

Art Show: CARSON, MURRAY & LLOYD @ The Surf Gallery on 10/25

Hey buddy Will is having another show at the Surf Gallery and they always are a good way to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday night. Make sure to stop by if you get a chance.

Check out some of the art they will have on display in the show.

Jason Murray

David Lloyd

David Carson


What: Legendary designer David Carson, acclaimed photographer Jason Murray and master abstract painter David Lloyd will exhibit work in a rare group show. Stop by to see the latest installation of paintings, photographs and mixed media prints from three icons in the industry.

When: Saturday, October 25, 2008 from 6-10 p.m.

Where: The Surf Gallery in Laguna Beach911 S. Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Contact: / 949-376-9155

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Humpday Waves - SW swell showing a bit better than anticipated.

Wednesday will be a surf day.

There is a decent pulse of SW swell (190-210) that started showing early on Tuesday and will continue to push in on Wednesday. We will also see some local WNW energy holding in the background.

To be honest I wasn't expecting Tuesday to have as much energy as it did...the fetch that sent us this SW'er was on the tail-end of the storm that did a lot of its surf generation in the more westerly portion of our swell window, which usually means the energy gets chewed up by the SPAC islands. But based on what I am seeing on the buoys it looks like the storm was a bit more intense than it looked as it moved into our more open swell window, which means I get to add a little more size to Wednesday's surf. One of the few times I don't mind being a bit too conservative.

Is it just me or is the buoy giving me the finger?

On Wednesday look for the average exposed breaks to hold around waist-chest high with some inconsistent shoulder high sets. The top spots, mostly through San Diego and Orange County but also at a few of the better combo spots in the other regions, will see some shoulder-head high waves on the lower tides.

Look for mostly light/variable winds through the morning with a few pockets of light southerly texture and fog in the more southern regions (OC and SD). WNW winds build in around 10-12 knots for the afternoon.

I think that we will be able to find some fun waves at most of the SW facing breaks tomorrow. The WNW energy isn't really all that strong so try and avoid the winter spots and focus on the SW exposed surf spots and the combo breaks. I think that the points and reefs will have the best shape...mostly because of the dominant SW swell direction and lack of push from the WNW...but the beach breaks should be ok, you might want to check the ones with piers and jetties first though.

Things are still looking solid for the SW swell later this week...looks like some stronger WNW swell (stronger than what we are currently seeing but not much over waist-chest high at the purely winter spots) will arrive as we head into Friday and Saturday.

Damn almost forgot the tides

06:07AM 4.2' High
11:21AM 2.7' Low
04:49PM 4.8' High

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Fun in the right spots

Tuesday looks a bit more surfable than Monday...I would even venture to call it a surf day since conditions are going to cooperate a little more.

I was probably a little hard on Monday's surf in yesterday's forecast...I was checking the surf at lunch today and saw a few fun peaks spread around the beach breaks. It wasn't firing but it was a bit better than I was expecting by that time of the day. I spent a few extra minutes going "where is my freaking wind dammit!?!".

Anyway Tuesday the swell mix will continue...the SW'er (200-220) will be a little more southerly and the local windswell will be a touch bigger.

Most spots will continue to see surf in the waist high range. Better exposed breaks will be in the waist-chest high range while the top breaks, mostly in San Diego and South OC, see some chest-shoulder high sets on the lower tides.
Winds look nice and light through the morning...light and variable for most spots with a couple of pockets of texture at the more open beaches. NW winds come onshore around 10 knots for the afternoon.

It won't be worth driving around a ton tomorrow...I would probably try and find waves close to home since there isn't a ton of size hitting anywhere. The combo spots will probably be the most fun...nice little crossed up peaks if you can pull in the swell mix. The points/reefs with SW exposure will be fun as well but make be a bit less consistent.

Here are the tides for Tuesday

05:23AM 3.8' High
09:38AM 3.2' Low
03:19PM 4.9' High
11:08PM 0.1' Low

Swell Alert Update - The SW'er is on its way

I was just going over some of the satellite to check up on the new SSW swell that will be hitting all along the coastline from California down through Central America later this week...and things are looking pretty good.

I feel like I need to issue a GEEK WARNING for what I am about to if you are offended by semi-scientific terms, already have a headache, or just set down the bong and don't feel thinking that hard you might just want to skip ahead a little bit.

Start of Geek Area ---------------

In particular I was looking at the Altimetry data from the JASON-1 satellite, which uses several forms of specialized radar and sensing equipment to detect some tiny changes in things like water vapor and sea surface height. This thing is so precise that it can measure how-fast and what-direction water vapor is blowing which allows it to measure wind speeds and directions with some amazing accuracy.

This precision sort of comes at a can only measure a limited amount of area with each satellite pass, which isn't that bad if you aren't concerned with hour-by-hour changes in atmospheric and ocean conditions...but unfortunately we are. If you check out the chart below you can see what I mean.

Mark Sponsler over at was super generous (Thanks Mark!) and let me use this chart from his site. (use this link if you ever want to check out the live altimetry data )

This chart has a lot going on, it is actually a blend of JASON data (the long curving lines are its satellite passes) and the NOAA WavewatchIII wave model (the colored wave heights that you are probably used too already). The JASON data is represented by numbers so it gives you the sea heights in feet. It is hard to read the numbers but if you zoom in enough with your browser you can sort of make them out.

So for check on this swell I like to look at the sea heights outside of the storm area...usually a few days after the storm has already produced the swell. If the swell is big enough and If you watch for increased sea-heights in areas where local winds are less likely to create the effect you can track the swell almost with the heights alone. Check out the area that I was focusing on.

In particular I was looking at this spot...

I think my eyes are going...

This little area is showing the spot where the swell is currently particular it is showing how much energy was actually pushed toward California compared to what is heading toward Mexico/Central America. 10-12' sea heights in this region is a good size...not huge...but still very nice to see since we are almost in November. The deepwater SW swell probably only accounts for about half to a third of those 10-12' sizes, the rest is made up by tradewind swell. This swell is forecast to make it with nearly 3' of deepwater swell at 17-18 seconds when it finally arrives in SoCal and NorCal, which means overhead+ waves for the top breaks.

Anyway I thought I would actually show you the "satellite" that I use...really just so you don't think I am just a first class space-cadet and making up random things that don't really exist. (I am still a spaz obviously). Hopefully no one's head hurts now...mine sort of does.

End GEEK area ----------

Just to rehash the previous won't be a huge SSW swell for SoCal but it will definitely be sending us some surf. Mainland Mexico and Central America look the biggest so if you can find a cheap ticket it will be worth getting down to an exposed break.

Check out the first post I did on this swell last week...the sizes and arrival times are going to stay the same.

Make sure to check out when you get a chance.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday’s Surf – A little more SW swell and some more wind

Monday will be surfable but overall it is not looking all that great.

We are going to have a mix of SW swell (210-220), which started filling in late on Sunday, and local WNW windswell.

Most spots with exposure to either the SW’er or the WNW windswell will hold around waist high with some chest high sets.

Standout areas, mostly in San Diego and South Orange County, will be in the chest-shoulder high range on inconsistent sets.

Winds are looking like the will be most of the problem. We see a light/moderate onshore WNW breeze through the morning that will strengthen during the afternoon. Looks like it will be generally under 5-knots in the morning but it is hard to tell how much it is going to lay down tonight. If it sort-of cleans up over the next few hours we will likely have a semi-clean dawn patrol…if it doesn’t it will mean some morning sickness for the more exposed breaks. Here is a shot of the COAMPS forecast.

Like I said in the first part of the post. I am not really stoked on the surf tomorrow…the SW’er is pretty west, which means that it passed through the SPAC islands to get here and got a lot of the consistency chewed out of it. It also means that many areas North of San Diego are going to be shadowed by our nearshore islands which means even less waves. Add it the fact that wind is trying to junk it up and you have a good reason to take it easy in the morning, and probably just stick with doing your work/chores/sleeping/xbox that you normally have planned for Mondays.

Tides For Monday (like we will really need them)

04:06AM 3.5' High
07:18AM 3.2' Low
01:41PM 5.3' High
09:57PM 0.0' Low

Friday, October 17, 2008

Waves for the Weekend - Mostly Rideable and with a little more SW swell on Sunday

Looked like there were still plenty of fun waves on Friday...I got a lovely case of the sewer ear so I stayed out of the water to try and dry it out (it might be time to drill out the old ear canals soon) ...but I went down and wandered the beach aimlessly at lunch and saw some decent sets coming through. (And naturally a couple of buddies had to tell me how fun it was both in the morning and during lunch...which is always the case when you can't surf...the jerkys). Anyway...

you know Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head

Saturday and Sunday are going to be surf days...not super big or even that consistent but it should be fun if you time the tides/conditions right.

We are going to have a mix of fading SSW swell and local windswell on Saturday. Most spots will be in the waist-high range while the standout S facing breaks in Orange County and San Diego see some chest high (maybe chest high+) waves on the best sets.

Sunday we will start off with more of the same but by the 2nd half of the day we will have a new SW swell (210-220) start to move in from the Southern Hemisphere. Most spots will stay in the same waist-waist high+ range. The standout SW facing spots in South Orange County and San Diego will have some more chest-shoulder high sets arriving as we head into the afternoon. (Look for this new SW'er to peak on Monday).

Winds look mostly light and variable for both Saturday and Sunday morning. Onshore winds out of the W-WNW build in to about 10-12+ knots through the afternoons.

Like I said above...I think it will be fun...nothing outstanding but playful, rideable, and clean. I think that the points/reefs/beach-breaks will all be about the same shapewise...there will be longer rides at the points/reefs...but more hollow and speedier sections at the beach breaks...sort of a trade off. I would still probably try and get on it during the morning since the tides will be a bit lower, just starting the tide push, and the winds will be nice and light. It is sunny and a weekend so expect a crowd...that way if you find an empty peak you can be pleasantly surprised.

Tides for the weekend

12:38AM LDT 3.6 H
05:02AM LDT 2.4 L
11:26AM LDT 6.1 H
07:17PM LDT -0.3 L

02:11AM LDT 3.3 H
05:50AM LDT 2.8 L
12:23PM LDT 5.7 H
08:35PM LDT -0.1 L

Travel Alert (and Waves for SoCal) - South Pacific Brewing up a new SSW swell

Over the last couple of days we have had a nice looking storm has pull together down in the South Pacific that will be sending out a new SSW-SW swell for Southern California, Baja Mexico, Mainland Mexico, and Central America that will hit during the second half of next week. (Oct 22-25th depending on Location).

Satellite passes recorded 40-45+ knot winds and seas in the 30-35 foot range, which is fairly decent by storm strength but not super intense overall. (Don't get me wrong I would still poop myself if I was caught in a boat in the middle of this...but it isn’t really that strong of a storm from a weather perspective).

Fortunately the storm has some good duration, a large fetch, a decent storm track, and was positioned so that its swell doesn't have to pass through the South Pacific Island Shadow, all of which are good things from a surf standpoint. Also since it is a little late in the SPAC swell season it is worth mentioning when a better SSW swell is heading our way.

The majority of this new swell will be heading towards Mainland Mexico and Central America but both Baja and Southern California should have plenty of fun waves from this swell as it peaks. Here is how it will break down.

Mainland Mexico & Central America

Since the swell is pretty SW (210-225) for these areas it hits about the same time across the region. Look for new long-period SW energy to start pushing in on Wednesday Oct 22 but with the peak of the swell hitting on Thursday-Friday 23-24th and then slowly backing over the following weekend. As this swell hits we can expect most SW exposed breaks to see consistent overhead surf while the standout spots see sets going several feet overhead at times. Deepwater spots may see bigger sets as well.

Baja Sur

The SW'er hits about the same time it does in Mainland Mexico but it won't have the same sort of wave heights. Look for some energy to start pushing through exposed breaks on the 22nd but the peak of the swell hitting the 23-24th and then a slow fade starting on the 25th. This swell will primarily hit the Pacific Side areas with the average exposed areas seeing shoulder-head high+ surf and the standout exposed spots seeing overhead+ sets.

Southern California

The SSW swell (190-205) has to push up a little further to reach SoCal so we can expect the swell arrival to be a bit later and the wave heights to be smaller that the other areas. Look for the long-periods to start arriving through the day on the 23rd and the peak of the swell hitting Oct 24-25th. Average breaks can expect surf in the chest-shoulder high+ range while the standouts, mostly in Orange County and San Diego, will have surf in the shoulder-head high range with inconsistent overhead sets at the top breaks. Even though SoCal will be a bit smaller that other areas on just this SSW swell, there is a good chance that we will have some WNW swell moving in about the same time...nothing huge, but enough to combo up the SSW'er, which is always nice.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday's Surf - Slow fade

Friday will be another surf day but our waves will be winding down and we will still need to sneak round the big-ass high tide.

Our surf will be a mix of fading SSW swell and leftover WNW energy. Most spots will hold around knee-waist high+ with some chest high sets. Standouts will be more in the waist-chest high range with some chest high+ waves on the better tides. Look for the biggest waves through San Diego and OC, but still fun size through LA and Ventura.

Winds look nice and light in the morning. Mostly light/variable to light offshore. Winds for the afternoon will stay on the light side as well...coming onshore around 5-10 knots out of the west after lunchtime.

If you have surfed in the last couple of days you can expect pretty similar conditions to what we have seen...only a bit smaller, and probably a little more walled up at the beach breaks (if that is even possible once we get to the low tide drainers). Points and Reefs will have the best shape overall and may even deal with the tide swing (a little) better. There will definitely be some windows where shape and conditions are better. I think the Dawn Patrol should be pretty fun...and if winds stay light, early afternoon as the tide starts to drop but hasn't gone into the surf black-hole of the negative low tide.

Tides for Friday

04:26AM 2.0' Low
10:40AM 6.3' High
06:11PM -0.5' Low

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thursday's Surf - Combo swell with a side of tide-burgers for brunch

Thursday is looking pretty surfable...not quite as big as Wednesday but still plenty fun if your spot can pull in the swell mix.

In the water we will have a mix of slowly fading SSW (190-200) and WNW swell (290-300) that is dropping a bit faster. Here is a shot of the swell from Wednesday afternoon...

Wave heights will be in the waist-chest high range for most of the average exposed spots through Ventura, North LA, and the South Bay. (Santa Barbara will be smaller...don't worry you guys will get your chance before too long).

Standout regions like San Diego and Orange County will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some shoulder high sets on the better tides.
Winds are looking good as well...look for light to moderate offshore flow through the morning with stronger offshore gusts near passes and canyons. It doesn't look like a pure Santa Ana wind flow but the coastal areas should be nice and clean. Afternoon winds also look pretty darn good...mostly light onshore below 10 there may be a chance at some surf in the afternoon as well.

About the biggest issue is going to be the 6'+ high tide that crushes surf shape around 10am. (the tidal swing is basically a 7' difference between the high in the morning and the negative low in the afternoon). The peak of the high tide is far enough back midmorning that I think you might be able to sneak in a dawn patrol session before things get too swampy but you will probably want to stick with a spot that can handle a little more water. I think shape will be best at the points and reefs as we start dropping to a lower tide...but there will be enough combo swell still in the water that the combo beach breaks will still be a decent back-up.

Tides for Thursday

03:53AM 1.5' Low
10:01AM 6.4' High (again f-ing brutal)
05:15PM -0.6' Low
11:29PM 3.9' High

Out the Back from a Forecast Perspective (Ok just call it a long-range forecast heads up). There is a large storm forecast to form up in the North Pacific in about 5-days...I don't even really want to talk about it much because I have seen too many of these storms show on the charts but never actually form in real life...but it is worth at least keeping an eye on it. Right now if the wheels stay on the forecast models it could potentially send us a new WNW swell for around the 24-25th. Naturally I will have more updates as we get closer to the storm actually forming.

Wednesday's Waves (Update) - Afternoon Session anyone?

Looks like we are going to get a chance at an afternoon/evening session today.

The swell combo is hitting pretty good in the exposed areas this afternoon and winds are still pretty light. I actually pulled a lunch session at one of the "average" beach breaks in N. OC and it was pretty darn fun. Getting a bit drained as the tide started to drop out but it was throwing some square little barrels on the inside.

We hit the low tide around 4pm and right now the winds look like should stay fairly light through the end of the day. So by quitting time we should have the tide starting to slowly push back in and a nice combo swell in the water. Points and reefs will probably have the best shape (the SSW swell seems a little overpowering if you have a spot that is exposed to it) but the combo beach breaks will be fun as well. Here is a shot at the winds at 3pm from the COAMPs observations...if winds aren't too strong by now they should stay manageable.

If you can get off work early I would try and check it. I know I am going to try and sneak another surf in.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday's Waves - Combo swell surfing on Hump Day

Wednesday is looking like a surf day...but we will have to work around the 6'+ high tide that buries us around 9:30am.

We are going to have a mix of new SSW swell (190-200) and WNW swell (290-300) as well as a touch of local NW windswell. Here is a shot of the swell mix starting to fill in this afternoon on the CDIP model...(try and ignore the swell periods and directions sometimes the model does screwy things when it averages swells together).

Surfwise the average exposed breaks will be in the waist-chest high range on the lower tides. Ventura and the LA South Bay will be a bit more in the chest high+ range thanks to better exposure to the WNW swell. (Santa Barbara is looking smaller than most areas due to the steep angle of the WNW swell and the blockage by the channel islands).

Standout combo surf spots, mostly in San Diego, will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets mixing in on the better tides as well. Orange County will be similar in size but mostly off the SSW swell rather than the WNW/SW combo that San Diego sees so try and pick your spots accordingly.

Weather and winds are looking pretty decent tomorrow...the Santa Ana flow is expected to back down (maybe give the fire teams a break thankfully) but we will still see some light offshore to light and variable winds through the morning. Onshore bump starts to pick up around midday and will eventually top out around 10-15 knots out of the W-NW during the afternoon.

Since we will be seeing a combo swell tomorrow that has some democratic swell angles almost all areas will be able to pick up some waves from either of the SSW/WNW swell directions. I think the tide is going to be a bit of deal-breaker in the morning though which sucks...there may be a few spots that can power through the 6' high tide but I would even plan on those spots being pretty soft. I wish the tide was a little further back in the morning (or we had an earlier sunrise) but I can wish to win the lotto too but it doesn't mean that it is going to happen. Oh well, cross your fingers that we can get past the high tide peak before the wind starts to get too bad.

Tides for Wednesday

03:22AM 1.2' Low
09:27AM 6.3' High (brutal!)
04:26PM -0.6' Low
10:33PM 4.3' High

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - more Santa Ana winds but not much surf

Tuesday is not looking like a surf day at least in the morning.

I hunted around for some waves on Monday even though I knew that there wasn't much out there. I don't know about you guys but I always find it is pretty frustrating to have Santa Ana winds with no surf...seems like it should be illegal or something. So every time we get these winds I always have to drive down to the beach just to make sure it is is almost like OCD or something. Anyway enough about my ongoing need for therapy. This sort of sums up my surf search this morning.

Man we ain't found sh$t!

For Tuesday there isn't going to be much swell showing in the morning...we can expect mostly leftovers and a 5'+ high tide that is going to bury any small surf that we would have seen.

So for the dawn patrol I am expecting most spots to be in the knee-high range with a few waist high sets sneaking through on the absolute best sandbars. Winds will be offshore (sometimes strongly offshore) so look for tiny dumpy closeouts with a lot of offshore spray. It will look pretty but don't plan on surfing much.

By the afternoon we will start to see a slow increase in surf, as well as better tides, (winds sort of screw us by then though). We have a new SW swell (200-210) and a new WNW swell (290-300). The WNW'er will hit primarily in Ventura and the South Bay before sundown (it hits more in San Diego after dark), and the SW'er will hit more in Orange County and N. San Diego. Those areas with exposure to the new swells will have some more consistent waist-chest high waves by the afternoon. Windwise it looks like the Santa Ana's that we have all morning will shift onshore out of the WNW and blow around 10-15 knots for the afternoon. (Sucks that when we finally get waves conditions poo on uss.)

I would plan on taking it easy tomorrow morning...the high tide really is going to shut things down. I am planning on watching the cameras and keeping an eye on them around lunchtime...I am sort of crossing my fingers that a little of the new swell can slip in before the winds start to switch around...I am not holding my breath but it is worth a few minutes of time on the computer.

Looks like Wednesday will be a better surf day...the Santa Ana's will shut down but the new WNW/SW swell mix will start to peak and it looks like clean conditions most of the day. More details on Wednesday tomorrow.

Tides on Tuesday

02:54AM 0.9' Low
08:57AM 6.0' High
03:42PM -0.3' Low
09:44PM 4.6i High

More Sunday Pics from Toby @

Here are some more shots from Sunday...make sure to check out Toby's site.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Looking clean but small (stupid Norbert)

Monday is looking very clean but the surf will be on the small side. I don’t think I am really going to call it a “surf” day but there will be waves and some pretty brisk N-NE Santa Ana winds through the first part of the day.

Our swell will be a mix of leftover SSW energy, some new SW swell (200-210), and some WNW windswell. Norbert is definitely looking like a bust at this point, I am not expecting much besides background SE energy from him on Monday. (Should have never trusted a storm with a name like that…I am telling you we need some storm names like Bad-Mofo or something like that…really how could you NOT get waves from Hurricane Bad Mofo it would be a crime).

Average spots will be in the knee-waist high range with some waist high+ sets. Standouts that can pull in the mix of swells, mostly San Diego and the better exposed areas of Orange County, will have surf in the waist-chest high range with maybe a couple of rare chest high+ sets at the best combo spots.

Winds look good for the morning. Mostly offshore to moderate+ offshore for the morning (N-NE around 10-15+ knots). Some of the more exposed areas around passes and canyons will have gusts near 20+ knots. Looks like the Santa Anas hold through about lunch and then shift onshore out of the NW around 10-20 knots for the afternoon.

Really the combo of smaller swell and a fat morning high tide is going to hamper shape tomorrow. The winds will make up for the smaller waves somewhat but I am expecting to see a lot of burgery shorebreak with offshore plumage at most breaks. If you try and surf in the morning expect cold, crisp conditions with some chilly water temps as well. I think that midmorning after the tide has dropped for a couple of hours might be the best call…a little shallower water with the offshore winds could be playful if your spot can pull in the combo.

Tides for Monday.

02:26AM 0.6’ Low
08:30AM 5.7’ High
03:02PM 0.2’ Low
08:59PM 4.9’ High

Sunday Morning Surf Photos - On the small side but fun

Here are a few shots from this morning...while it wasn't that big there were a few fun peaks, and offshore winds. Check it out.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tropical Update – Norbert is not quite a bust but it is looking smaller

I was just going over the buoys this afternoon and despite the nasty slop that we are seeing on the beach there is some tropical swell hiding in the background. I even saw some sets sneaking into some spots exposed to the SE’er but sheltered from the windswell which indicates we should have a better chance at some surf tomorrow.

Right now the Dana Point Buoy is pulling in about 3.5-4 feet of energy out of the S-SE, which for some reason this buoy always registers these swells as nearly due south no matter how much SE is in them.

Anyway here is a shot of the latest buoy update…

You can see the energy hiding under the windswell…with most of it coming in from 10-14 seconds, and some limited energy coming in from 14-17 seconds.

What does this mean?…well the assload of windswell we currently have blasting through the outer waters isn’t doing this SE swell any favors, mix that with the fact that the NHC downgraded Norbert’s storm strength in a key area of swell production and it looks like we are going to have to back down the wave sizes for tomorrow, which is a freaking bummer.

Check out the newest estimation of windspeeds from the site.

I still think that the exposed areas will have some fun…but the average spots are going to be closer to the chest-shoulder high range. The top SE facing breaks, mostly through North Orange County, should be in the shoulder-head high range on most waves with some overhead+ sets at times.

Winds still look much better for tomorrow and Monday as the Santa Ana conditions start to move in…lets cross our fingers that enough tropical swell (and the windswell combo) will stick around long enough for us to get a few waves from it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Waves for the Weekend - Tropical SE swell and Santa Ana Winds

Let me start off this forecast by saying...Saturday is probably going to suck. I know the title of the post says "Tropical SE swell and Santa Ana Winds" but the winds don't get good till Sunday or Sunday afternoon.

Sorry to be a Debbie-Downer but I wanted to stop you guys from tearing down to the beach with your demented imaginations conjuring up surf porn featuring 100-yard tropical swell barrels getting blown open by toasty warm offshore winds. (I do the same thing).

Yes, the tropical SE swell hits on Saturday, but so does a buttload of W-NW winds. NWS is issuing Gale Warnings for waters out in the Nearshore islands tonight and they expect a good chunk of those onshore winds to hit our beaches on least 15-20+ knots in some areas. Also, just to jump on the dead-horse and beat it some more, the SE'er is going to be very select in what spots will pull in the full shot of energy. So the combo of onshore winds and a limited swell angle sort of poop on Saturday's waves.

Surfwise I am expecting a waist-chest high+ combo of SSW-SW and local NW swell for the average exposed spots on Saturday. The SE swell will be moving in steadily through the morning and should begin peaking in the afternoon. Those average SE facing breaks will eventually start hitting the shoulder-head high+ range, while the SE standouts see some sets going several feet overhead before sundown.

(Check it out...some of the Norbert swell is starting to hit the SoCal Buoys this afternoon.)

Sunday the winds for the morning are still a little iffy (it depends on how fast Saturday's junk blows through), but by midday and into the afternoon it looks like winds shift to the N-NE around 10-15+ knots and set up Santa Ana conditions. This will continue through the evening and into Monday.

Check out this Sea-Level-Pressure map from the University of Hawaii.

now that is surf porn!

This one is actually for Monday can see the position of the high-pressure over the Pacific Northwest, and the interior low down by the Sea of Cortez. Most importantly is the way the pressure gradient (the red lines) sets up over SoCal. You want to see that funky little dogleg that almost makes the lines look like they come up from the SE (my red arrows are sitting right on top of it).

Anyway surfwise on Sunday we can basically expect the same thing as Saturday afternoon. Most spots see average waves in the waist-chest high+ range. Top spots will be around shoulder high on sets. The SE facing spots will be running shoulder-overhead for areas with ok exposure. Standout SE facing breaks in N.OC and a few other areas will be running consistently overhead with sets going several feet overhead at times.

Surfing this weekend will probably take a little patience, and if you can spare it, I would probably spend a little time on the computer checking the cams/winds/buoys just to see how everything is coming together. I know it is can be a drag but it will definitely help you from getting burned by this mix of funky weather and swells. Obviously if I only had one day to surf I would pick Sunday hands down, the swell mix will be peaking and the winds look better. Remember to pick a SE facing spot if you want the bigger waves.

Here are the tides for the weekend.

01:33AM 0.4' Low
07:48AM 4.8' High
01:47PM 1.4' Low
07:34PM 5.0' High

02:00AM 0.5' Low
08:07AM 5.2' High
02:24PM 0.8' Low
08:16PM 5.0' High

Have a great one!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Friday's Surf - not really doing it for me

After the last few days of surf I don't think Friday is going to be much of a surf day. In fact it is going to be on the poor side shapewise for a few areas...especially compared to what we had at the beginning of the week.

We are going to have a mix of backing down SSW swell, fading WNW energy, and increasing local NW windswell.

Most spots are going to be in the waist high range while the more exposed breaks will be running chest high...with a few inconsistent chest-shoulder high sets mixing in.

There should also be some tropical SE swell starting to show some new waves later in the afternoon, but really I am looking for most of that energy to arrive after sunset.

Conditions are what screw us up...looks like onshore winds (similar to Thursday but increasing in strength)...will move in through the morning. There might be a semi-surfable area around N. LA in the morning but most other spots will have onshore winds around 5-10 knots. Afternoon winds build out of W-NW around 10-15+ knots for most areas and stronger gusts at the more exposed breaks.

Really I would plan on taking it easy on Friday...maybe drying out a little bit (I know my ears could take a couple days off, freaking surfer's ear). I wouldn't get up and burn gas or time early tomorrow...I don't think you are going to beat the wind. Personally I am going to do a cam check in the morning (later in the pillow sounds really nice right now)...just to make sure that I am not missing anything...then start watching the buoys for that tropical swell in the afternoon. Not planning on much surfing tomorrow.

Here are Friday's Tides if you need them

01:06AM 0.5' Low
07:32AM 4.4' High
01:12PM 2.0' Low
06:51PM 4.8' High

Swell Alert - Hurricane Norbert sending SE swell to SoCal

I am getting sort of sick of this storm...but fortunately I don't think I will have to issue too many more forecasts for Norbert. Looks like Norbert is finally starting to dial into a more consistent forecast track and some of the bigger differences between the models have started to resolve, which is just "fancy speak" for we now have a better idea of what this storm is going to do and how strong it will be when it does.

just waiting to f%#k up Baja Sur

They have revised the storm strength back to a Cat-3...sort of in the middle of the Cat-3 range. It is sort of hard to tell if the NHC has just downgraded winds or if the storm has weakened...there is actually a pretty big difference when it comes the swell it creates. Weakening storms are never good, even if they are just barely weakening compared to sustained wind speeds. Anyway, despite the wind difference there is going to be some surf from ol we can plan on riding some waves.

Currently Norbert is about 300 miles SSW of the tip of Baja and is moving NW around 8-10 knots with wind speeds holding around 100-knots and gusts topping out around 120-knots. Right now the combination of Norbert's storm track and intensity as well as movement speed are all pretty good for swell production. I still wish he was either further west or was planning on spending more time in our swell window.

Unfortunately the SE swell direction (160-165 degrees) that Norbert will be sending us swell from is a pretty steep is one of those angles that really "warps the perception" of the swell since the exposed spots have the potential for large surf while the lesser exposed breaks will be considerably smaller. If you pick the wrong spot you could be very left out.

I never really want to name spots since I like to surf uncrowded waves as much as the next guy but I do want to give you guys a chance at finding waves. So check out this very simple map that sort of highlights what areas will be the most exposed to the SE swell. Green is good, Red still gets waves, and areas without any coloring are sort of screwed (from a tropical swell perspective...there will be some SSW swell and WNW energy out there too so it won't be totally flat or anything).

At this point we can expect new tropical energy to start arriving on the buoys late in the evening on Friday and then on our beaches on Saturday. The Peak of the SE swell will hit Saturday afternoon and hold through Sunday before starting to slowly back off as we head into next week.

Sizewise we can expect areas with average exposure to this swell, spots in Ventura, parts of N. Los Angeles, S. Orange County, and a few in N. San Diego, to see consistent tropical waves in the shoulder-head high and sometimes overhead range. Standout SE facing breaks in North Orange County and a few other select areas will have surf going overhead to well-overhead on sets...with the potential for some of the top breaks to near double-overhead on the biggest sets.

Remember if you are looking for larger surf it is important to pick a well exposed break...there is going to be a very big size difference as you move from the top exposed breaks down to less exposed ones.

Oh and winds are looking a bit funky for Saturday (much cleaner on Sunday)...I will give you a better update on Conditions tomorrow.