Thursday, October 9, 2008

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.


Anonymous said...

Huntington should be the spot with that west swell hitting at the same time! Fo sho bro!

Anonymous said...

so is any of this gonna hit trestles or is it all gonna pass by? I couldn't see that well because the map is of such a large area.

Anonymous said...

this swell is going right past Trestles and you all will never know where to find good surf cause no one understands how to find the sweet spot unless you understand swells and direction points... hahaha

Anonymous said...

You think parts of the Bu will be getting surf Adam?

Anonymous said...

ok here are the spots.... as if you didn't know...

biggest spot on the coast will be wedge.
2nd biggest spot will be
3rd biggest will be HB/NS...
cliffs pretty good too.
bolsa jetty might be grinding...

Adam Wright said...

I think the 'bu is going to have a hard time on this swell.

Shadowing from the nearshore islands and interference from the windswell coming down the coast is going to limit how much makes it into that area of North LA.

Trestles will have some waves but anonymous #3 is right that the majority of the SE swell is going to go right past the area. (and he should have added a Mu-ha-ha-ha for an evil mastermind laugh at the end of his comment).