Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursdays Surf – Less Poo and less swell

Even though our swell mix is backing down Thursday looks like a surf day. Conditions look good for the morning and there should be enough swell leftover/holding that we can find a couple of sections here and there.

We are going to have a mix of fading WNW windswell and some smaller but holding S-SW overlapping swells (185-205). Check out the Dana Point Buoy from this evening…

Most spots will be a bit soft with the higher tide in the morning…so expect less than great shape in some areas…particularly spots that only pull in the windswell…the combo of short-period energy and a higher AM tide is going to shut down shape. On average we can expect knee-waist high surf for most exposed breaks.

The better S facing spots or the decent combo spots will have waist-chest high sets.

Standout combo breaks in San Diego, particularly the spots that can handle a little higher of a tide, will have waist-shoulder high sets through the morning.

Winds look good…light to moderate offshore NE flow for the morning, generally under 10 knots. W-NW winds build onshore around lunchtime and top out around 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

The surf won’t be firing or anything tomorrow but it should still be playful if you are careful about picking your spots. I probably wouldn’t drive to far to get waves but if you are close to the beach and don’t mind the cleaner but still questionable water quality then you should plan in a quick beach check.

Here are the tides

05:00AM LST 3.9’ High
10:09AM LST 3.1’ Low
03:01PM LST 3.9’ High
10:23PM LST 0.8’ Low

PS – A note on TS Polo (Marco!)…it died out pretty fast. No swell expected from him.


Anonymous said...

Adam, the 156 hour charts are starting to look very good for that potentially big NWer next weekend. 50 foot seas generating at its peak (drools) Is it too early to get excited?

Adam Wright said...

Looks like that storm has already started to fall apart on the models. You were looking at the run from last night and seeing 50' seas...already this morning that system has been downgraded to 30-35' seas which is a huge drop. I think there is going to be plenty of waves from the W-NW next week...but I am not expecting a real boomer of a swell (at least not yet).

Just a little bit about how I look at the forecast models...I don't put much stock in the forecast run once you move past 72 hours. I look at it and use it for guidance in the long-range outlook but I always take it with a grain of salt...particularly in the transition from the summer to the winter pattern...or from winter to summer with the SPAC. It seems like the GFS has a hard time getting the extremely long-range stuff to not get overcalled.

It is always important to remember that the GFS/WWIII models (all wave models really) strive to be accurate but at the same time they will err on the side of trying to protect human life and with that it mind it will probably overcall the strength on something rather than undercall it.

My general rule of thumb on model accuracy is this...and it shifts around all the time, which is why as a forecaster you always want to get "actual or analysis data" not just projected data.

So this is how much faith I put into the model...

0-24 hours - 85-95% accuracy
24-48 hours - 70-80%
48-72 hours - 50-60%
72-96 hours - 40%
96-144 hours - 20%
144+ - not as good as blackjack but better than playing the lotto

Try it out when you get a chance...take today's forecast run and print out the charts in for each 24 hours up to 180-hours...then just print out the 0-hour analysis each morning for the next 7 days and see how close they match up to the forecast.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response Adam! I try to plan accordingly for a trip to Hawaii and every extra day definately makes a difference. I appreciate the help you do!

cheerupcheerio said...

that is one of the saddests P.S.'s I have ever read :'(