Monday, November 24, 2008

Tuesday’s Surf – A little surf window opening up

Over the weekend it looked like Tuesday was going to be pretty sloppy but as I looked at the charts this afternoon it looks like Tuesday might be a surf day.

There will still be some rain, maybe even some slight texture from light winds but overall it isn’t looking totally sloppy.

Right now we have this funky little low hanging just off the California coast. It even has some decent winds in the core of the storm and it is relatively close to SoCal…in fact it is right in the middle of our W swell window. Check out the satellite shot of this little spinner.

Swell from this storm should actually start filling in tomorrow (along with the weather)…it won’t be huge but it will definitely be bigger than what we saw on Monday. There will also be some new S swell (180-190) starting to fill in that might be able to cross up a few of the combo breaks.
For tomorrow I am looking for most of the average spots with some exposure to one or both of those swells to be holding around waist high…maybe waist high+ (with some bigger sets) on the lower tides.

The standout W facing breaks, mostly in Ventura and San Diego, as well as some of the really good combo breaks, will have some waist-chest high sets through the first part of the day but should start to see some shoulder high waves for the afternoon.

Winds for tomorrow morning look light…mostly light/variable with a semi-consistent onshore bent to it. Winds go more onshore in the afternoon but generally remain below 10-knots. Looks like the rain moves in by the afternoon for most areas. Here is the COAMPS wind forecast for Tuesday morning.

Now that I am seeing this storm holding off the coast I am a little more interested in surfing tomorrow. I am not totally committed yet…there are still a few things that bother me about tomorrow…

#1 is the morning tide – the high morning tides seriously need to fuck off.

#2 the approaching cold front – weather models almost never get these right, particularly when the storm is smaller and located around the mid-latitudes (the GFS has a weakness in the mid’s for some reason…usually undervalues wind speed projections).

#3 Rain – while it keeps the crowd down at the beach it delivers a lot of poo into the lineup…I am not sure I want to surf through another poo-slick.

Basically I am planning on keeping an eye on it through the morning…waiting for the tide to drop and crossing my fingers that it drains out, the swell comes up, and the winds stay down long enough to get a little session in. I would suggest taking it easy through the morning and getting in a camera check before driving down to the beach. Also try and stick with spots that have good exposure to the swell mix...either a really good WNW spot, good S facing spot, or good combo break.

Here are the tides…

12:42AM LST 1.9’ L
06:55AM LST 5.9’ H
02:13PM LST -0.3’ L
08:27PM LST 3.6’ H


Alex said...

much agreed on the morning high tide needing to fuck off. i feel like it skunked the saturday session. how much longer is it going to last?? When are we going get am rising mid tides instead of outrageously high ones?

Anonymous said...

Because high tides almost always occur in the morning during winter, the best surf in the winter is usually in the afternoon.

This is why the best winter surf spots are either directly protected from the wind (ie they face south like the Ranch & Steamer Lane), have offshore kelp beds (PV, Cliffs), or are in natural low wind areas (Santa Barbara).

(Ever wonder why Swamis goes from a handful of LBers battling the morning high tide to 200 guys out on a glorious, sunny afternoon?)

The few exceptions are Moss, Vland & Blacks - they pick up enough swell to override most tidal effects, so you can surf during the morning.

It's also why OC sucks (hands down, it has the worst surf in Calif). Catalina provides a two-fer for OC - it blocks winter swells and it creates a wind tunnel. Hence, no surf (like this last Sat), high tide, then blown out conditions.

The only good thing about OC is that it picks up S swells. Unfortunately, prevailing S winds from April through Aug mitigate this action.

And this, boys & girl, is why OC shines for two months every year: Sept/Oct due to a combination of S swells, normal tides & calm offshore conditions.

pushingtide said...