Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Surf for New Years day – Happy New Year!

There were a few rideable windswell peaks on Wednesday…nothing exciting but not flat either. Looks like 2009 is going to start off with some pretty similar conditions.

All in all it looks like Thursday is going to be rideable…again not what I would call a “surf day” but it is a holiday, and if you don’t mind the fog, there are definitely worse ways to spend it that floating around picking off a few knee-waist high lines.

We are going to see the same mix of local WNW-NW windswell and some background energy from the WNW/SW from further away storms. Most spots will continue to see the knee-high waves with some bigger sets. Standout spots, mostly Ventura, The South Bay, and San Diego, will have some waist high surf with waist-high+ sets. Shape will be soft again for the morning as the tide fills in and will get…uh…slightly less soft on the low tide.

Winds look ok again…mostly light and variable through the morning and variable onshore to light onshore through the afternoon. The forecast models are calling for more of that cold-ass fog tomorrow as well.

I would just plan on surfing local…it won’t be worth driving very far or anything. Getting in a surf at your home break and then getting back to watch some football and nap on the couch sounds like a good way to spend New Year’s Day.

Have a good one…here’s to a good year!

12:21AM LST 3.7 H
05:25AM LST 2.4 L
10:59AM LST 4.4 H
06:15PM LST 0.4 L

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wednesday’s Waves – last chance to surf in 2008

Wednesday won’t really be a “surf day” but there will be a few waves to ride if you have the right gear (and an open minded attitude).

Just looking at the surf here on Tuesday and it looks like a little more local windswell managed to creep in from the outer waters...and while it got pretty hosed by the higher morning tide it did improve in size and shape by the afternoon as the tide started to drop. By improve I mean that it went from flat to about knee-high with a few mushy waist high waves on the best sets.

Wednesday looks about the same but with a little more windswell and just a touch more general background energy. Most spots will start off on the slow/mushy side thanks to a building morning tide...but will have improving shape as we drop to the lower tide in the afternoon. As the tide evens out we should see consistent knee high-knee high+ surf at the average spots and some waist-chest high sets at the top WNW-NW facing standouts. Again shape will still be sort of gutless...but a weak mushy wave is better than total flatness.

Winds look good again as well...light and variable to light offshore for the morning and then only marginally onshore out of the NW around 10-knots for the afternoon.

Since a lot of us have a holiday tomorrow...or at least a partial one...I think your best bet is to take ‘er easy in the morning, let the air warm up and start thinking about a surf as the tide starts dropping. If you have to surf early then try and get on it at sunup...since the building tide is going to swamp it out pretty fast. Make sure to bring your small wave gear too...longboards will be best...but you might be able to get away with a fish at the top spots if you are a smaller surfer/a teenage girl/you really rip/ or can somehow defy the laws of physics.

Here are the tides...

04:31AM LST 2.5 L
10:20AM LST 5.0 H
05:48PM LST 0.0 L

Monday, December 29, 2008

Tuesday’s Surf – Did someone order some more flatness?

Tuesday is not going to be a surf day. Conditions will be nice, (besides the water being ‘nad dropping cold), but there just isn’t any swell beyond some very small soft windswell leaking in from our local waters.

Most spots are already pretty fact a lot of them look like this.

And Tuesday isn’t going to be much better. Most breaks will be right in the ankle-knee high range (knee high being generous). Top windswell spots, mostly in South San Diego and Southern Ventura, will have some waist high waves on the lower tides. Personally I think I will be skipping the beach (again)...but if you do head out make sure to break out the 9’6”...I don’t even think fishy shapes are cutting it right now.

This is getting pretty old...I am even considering taking up kayaking or kite flying or something...just to spend some time on the beach. Maybe I will become a professional sand castle maker, yeah that is the ticket. Anyway I am sure you all feel the same way.

Anyway here are the tides

03:47AM LST 2.4 L
09:46AM LST 5.3 H
05:17PM LST -0.3 L
11:52PM LST 3.6 H

More notes on the Long-range...the small surf isn’t going to last forever (it just feels like it)...If you read the forecast from yesterday I told you I was tracking some new SW swell...well now it looks like some new WNW swell is going to be pushing through around the same time. In fact we should start seeing a slow pick up on Friday as some new WNW energy starts to move in...but then a better pulse starts to hit around the 3-4th of January and actually mixes with some of that new SW swell. It won’t be huge or anything but a chest-shoulder high combo swell sounds pretty freaking nice after all of this flatness. A couple of these storms are still forming so keep your fingers crossed that they produce better than the forecasts say they will.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Monday’s Surf – Small and Soft

Not much swell on tap on Monday so it looks like another sub-par surf day. There will be decent morning conditions but just not much to ride.

We are going to have a mix of small local WNW windswell and some background S-SW energy neither of which are very big or will amount to much rideable surf.

On average the exposed spots will be around knee high…maybe smaller on the high tide but with a few knee-high+ sets on the lowest tides. The top spots, mostly in San Diego, will have a few waist high+ sets on the lower tides but don’t expect much push even with the bigger sizes.

Winds look good…mostly chilly light/variable to light offshore with some light to moderate NW flow (around 10-12 knots for the afternoon). Mostly sunny skies again as well.

Like I said…not much going on for the start of the week. You might be able to get out and longboard a few softies tomorrow but don’t expect a lot out of it…it will just basically be a way to wash the dust off.

Here are the tides…

03:09AM LST 2.4 L
09:13AM LST 5.6 H
04:46PM LST -0.5 L
11:18PM LST 3.6 H

Looking out at the long-range forecast it does look like the wave drought is going to end…or at least start to ease out of this nonsense we have been slogging through the last few weeks.

Right now we have a new storm down in the South Pacific (of all places) that managed to scrape up some 40-50 knot winds in an area of fetch aimed towards SoCal.

It doesn’t have the best storm track after it throws up those wind speeds but anything is better that what we have been seeing. From the looks of it we should see a decent waist-chest high+ (maybe shoulder high) SW swell (195-215) moving in around January 4th and peaking into the 5th…holding into the 6th before fading out.

It also looks like there will be some new storm action over by Japan taking place in the next couple of days that if it can pull together might get us some longer-period WNW swell (285-300) that would start leaking in around the same time…not big or anything…but again at least better than what we have right now.

I’ll keep you posted as we get closer…hopefully there will be enough waves for all of the guys that have been sitting out the last couple of weeks.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Waves for the Weekend – Fading but cleaner

Looks like we could have some rideable waves this weekend…not great by any means but at least rideable with halfway decent weather.

Surfwise we are going to see some quickly dropping WNW windswell leftover from that latest storm. It will be biggest on Saturday and drop pretty fast into Sunday. There will also be some minor background swells from both the WNW and the SSW…but other than showing some energy on the buoys they aren’t going to amount to much surfwise. Check out the CDIP forecast…don’t be fooled by the wave height spectrum though…I think we are going to be hard pressed to find surf over chest high in most areas.

Wave heights on Saturday will be in the waist-chest high range for most W facing beaches. Standouts in San Diego, Ventura, and the South Bay will be around shoulder high…maybe shoulder high+ early on Saturday. Size and consistency are going to fade pretty fast so by Sunday it looks like a lot of spots drop to about knee-waist high and even the top breaks are going to be around chest high on the sets.

Weather looks good for both days…mostly light and variable to light offshore in the mornings and light to moderate NW winds 10-12 knots moving in through the afternoons. Mostly sunny skies for a change as well.

Like I said it isn’t going to be great…but if you have been jonesing and just can’t wait for the water to get a bit cleaner then you will be able to ride some waves over the weekend. Probably since a bunch of you got new boards you should paddle out just to break the new board curse and let us get back to some real surfboard riding. Keep an eye on the tides too…it looks like there will be some pretty high ones in the mornings that could keep things on the slow side. Personally I don’t feel like freezing my ‘nads off…I think I might see if I can beat my bowling record on my new Wii!

Here are the tides….

02:01AM LST 2.4 L
08:09AM LST 5.8 H
03:44PM LST -0.7 L
10:14PM LST 3.5 H

02:34AM LST 2.4 L
08:41AM LST 5.8 H
04:15PM LST -0.7 L
10:45PM LST 3.5 H

Hope you guys had a good holiday! Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wednesday’s Surf – New Storm Moving in

Wednesday looks like it will continue the trend of crappy surf but there may be a small window for some waves if you don’t mind braving the subpar water quality.

Like the title of the forecast says, we have a new storm starting to move in. Unfortunately it isn’t the kind of storm we are looking is a poorly positioned system moving in from the North...just enough that it is outside of our swell window (NorCal is getting some waves) but close enough to the coast that it is going to send in some more sloppy weather when it arrives. Check it out on the GOES Satellite.

You can see all the mess brewing up off the coast...and that it is hanging right in the blind spot that we get from Point Conception. You might even want to check out the animated version of this gives you a better perspective on how this system is behaving.

Eventually this system is going to break eastward and move over SoCal brining more wind and rain. Based on this afternoon’s forecasts it looks like the leading edge of the front will arrive tomorrow...more likely in the afternoon but with building S-SE winds for most of Wednesday.

It is also going to set up some building W-NW windswell (and a smaller amount of southerly windswell)...the rub of it all is going to be if we will see any of the swell before the winds get too bad. Right now, with the luck that we have been having, I am inclined to stay conservative and say that the trend of “screwing us” will continue...but with a system this dynamic it is worth keeping a weather eye on it and seeing if we might be able to get a couple of bigger waves before the winds take it apart.

So for Wednesday we can expect a mix of steady but smaller WNW windswell for the morning. Most spots will hold in the waist-high range while the top standout NW facing spots in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego seeing some bigger chest-shoulder high faces. This swell will build up throughout the day as the new storm approaches...likely building into the chest-shoulder high range for the average exposed spots and some head high sets for the standouts (it looks biggest by the end of the day and we could have some larger “victory at sea” conditions as the winds peak overnight).

Weatherwise the forecasts are calling for increasing S-SE winds through the morning...starting off around 10-knots but building steadily through the day...eventually topping out in the 20-25+ knot range by the afternoon. Rain will come along with it as well.

Ideally what we want is the wind to stay out of the SE as long as it can...if it holds that direction there are going to be a few spots throughout the county that can actually hold together enough to get us waves. This is sort of a long-shot so don’t plan your day around it but if you are in some of the better positioned Ventura areas, The LA South Bay, or Southern San Diego, I would probably keep an eye on the might get a window of increasing size with still surfable conditions. Really the only reason that I am even mentioning this is in desperation for some waves...hopefully conditions will pull/hold together enough that a few of us can get some waves before it all goes to poop again.

This all depends on the front moving at its forecasted speed...but these things rarely if you wake up and it still seems relatively windless in your area then we might have a shot at some waves. If it is already raining and blowing onshore then spend some time writing your own letter to Santa and then go back to bed.

Good Luck!

If I get a chance I will send out another update tomorrow...but if I don’t I want to make sure to wish you all a happy holidays and sincerely hope that you have a good couple of days off (even if the surf sucks).


Adam & the Wright Family

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tuesday’s Surf – You have got to be kidding me

The surf looks pretty crap for Tuesday. More onshore winds, more sloppy windswell and leftover energy from all over the place.

Our surf will be around waist-waist high+ for most spots with a few bigger, but junkier waves at the top NW windswell spots.

Winds are expected to be onshore, in some form or another but mostly out of the W-NW, throughout the day. Rain will come through on and off as well. Check out the CDIP from this doesn’t get much sadder than this.

Oh wait yes it does...

Anyways I have decided to take up the “send us surf” campaign a notch...check it out.

Dear Santa,

All I really want for Christmas is to go surfing again.

Over the last 2 weeks we have been seeing some of the worst winter surf that I can remember and between the lack of waves, rain, and total economic collapse I have to say that I am getting a bit down.

I have a good board and a shiny new wetsuit that are sitting in my garage ready for action...but have stayed woefully dry for quite a while now.

I would really appreciate it if you could load up some new storms into both the North and South Pacific storm tracks and send us some waves, with maybe a touch of Indian summer and/or Santa Ana winds to make it extra special.

Please Please Please send us some surf! I will be the bestest ever if you do!

With Love,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Surf Forecaster

P.S. I will leave out extra cookies and carrots for you and your reindeer!

I am dropping a copy in the mailbox today. (Addressed to the North Pole of course). I think it will work!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monday’s Surf – This sucks

Monday is not going to be much of a surf day.

A new cold front, rain, and increasing onshore winds are forecast to move in later tonight. About the only thing that this storm will be good for (besides sending in some more snow) is building up the wave heights slightly. At this point we can expect slowly increasing W windswell (with crap 5-7 second swell periods…seriously I can’t believe I am even talking about this) building our nearly flat surf to an outstanding chest high at the top San Diego/Ventura spots by tomorrow afternoon.

Before we get too excited remember that onshore winds out of the W will be on tap 10-15 knots for the morning and then cap out around 20-25 knots by the afternoon. Showers are likely throughout the day. Check out the COAMPS forecast for tomorrow

Your best bet is to stay in bed tomorrow, maybe read the paper, or have some donuts. You might give the cams a quick check just in case we get lucky and the front stalls out enough to send in a couple of chilly dawn patrol waves before junky it out…but don’t hold your breath.

I don't know about the rest of you but I am sooo over this tiny surf...It is getting to the point that I am seriously considering that a human sacrafice might be the way to go. Or maybe we just need to have a coordinated "lackosurf" seems like the surf has a tendency to be better when you are hungover...maybe if enough of us are at the same time we can lift the wave curse...maybe the day after Christmas is a good target?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Waves for the Weekend – Hibernation and Clown Cars

Other than a bunch of sloppy windswell that we had earlier in the week the beach has been pretty dismal...and this weekend isn’t going to any better.

Our surf is going to remain small thanks to just a general lack of swell. There will be some small WNW windswell and weak SSW energy in the water...but really I wouldn’t even be calling these weak pulses “swell” if there was anything else in the water. While I was watching the beach this morning I saw boatwake break bigger than the swell mix currently showing...on the same note there was not a single person on the South Side of HB pier when I was looking at it...that alone should be a sign of the apocalypse.

Wave heights for the weekend will be around knee high...maybe knee high+ at a few of the top combo spots. Knee high might even be generous for a few spots out there.

Weatherwise over the weekend it should continue to be ok...a bit chilly but mostly sunny. Winds will remain light to light-offshore through the mornings and light onshore through the afternoons.

I wish I had someplace to send you...some magical land where the weather was warm, the surf was pumping, where the women flocked like the salmon of Capistrano, and the beer flowed like wine...but I don’ we might have to stay inside and play xbox and watch football (aka Hibernate) or go snowboarding, which is always a good back up.

Anyway here is another random motivational poster that I found today...sorry if the verbage is a bit crude.

No it most certainly isn’t

Have a good one...maybe we will get some waves next week!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday’s “uh what did we use to do all the time” – Well at least it ain’t raining

Friday won’t be much of a surf day (big surprise there).

We will have a mix of weak WNW windswell and some equally weak SSW background energy. Most spots will be around knee high…top spots may brush close to waist high+ on the best sets but like the last couple of days will remain on the gutless side.

Weather looks ok…mostly light N winds in the morning and then slightly building NW winds moving in through the afternoon.

I guess it might be rideable if you are completely desperate, and/or don’t mind surfing a longboard/SUP/just standing on the sand in your wetsuit mind-surfing. If someone was forcing me into the water against my will I would try and stick with the top breaks that always seem to have a few peaks…most everywhere else is going to be pretty (translation = very) small. San Diego may be a little more consistent than other areas but even though gas prices are a little more reasonable I wouldn’t waste any time or money driving down there.

Wish I had more for you guys but the long-range is looking pretty bleak…I am probably going to have to start looking at some travel destinations to see if I can hunt down some waves for us.

In the meantime I am going to just start posting a new section called "random crap I found on the interweb"

I don't know why but these things always make me laugh. It doesn't really matter what it is them...just the border makes me chuckle for some reason.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why our surf sucks right now

Not that this will change anything or help us get waves anytime soon…but I thought I would put together a post highlighting how lame out North Pacific storm track looks right now.

Just from the lack of waves and the crazy conditions we all can tell that mother nature is giving us a pretty good working over. Usually though these sort of forecast scenarios cycle through pretty quickly…you sort of get a cold-front, followed by some NW winds that build in the vacuum behind the low-pressure, and then conditions clear up as high-pressure rebuilds after the low moves out…and usually there are some waves mixed in at some point.

Right now the storm track is all over the place…we are getting all the funky weather without any of the waves…and the gap between cold fronts has been very short, without much time for high-pressure to help dry us out.

The root problem of our current lackosurf condition lies in the positioning and strength of the Eastern North Pacific High-Pressure…which is a semi-permanent ridge of high-pressure that can be found shifting around between Hawaii, The Gulf of Alaska, and the US West Coast.

It seems weird that the high-pressure would be the one causing the issues when we generally look at storms (or low-pressure) when it comes to swell creation (well it is really the interaction between the high and the low that causes surf…but you usually don’t go “man look at that high-pressure!”…it is usually “wow that storm is going to wipe Hawaii off the map” or something to that effect).

Anyway the EPAC High-pressure is the main cause for the North Pacific storm track to shut down for the summer. During the summer months it sits almost stationary on the edge of the Gulf of Alaska and forces any of the weak systems moving over the Aleutians back up into Alaska and Canada.

During the winter this high is usually compacted back into the mid/low latitudes by the more intense storms…and will spend much of the winter ridging over Southern California and on over to Hawaii.

Now check this out…this is the current Sea Level Pressure chart generated by the GFS weather model…

The EPAC high-pressure has more of its summer shape…worse yet it has a strong buddy blocking a lot of the higher latitude storm action over in the NW Pacific. The ridge is effectively blocking most our of swell window and is forcing what little storm activity we do have up into the Gulf of Alaska.

Weatherwise having the high positioned further out to sea is opening a gap along the west coast that is allowing the cold fronts to slip down from the north and douche us with rain. So basically we get all of the weather but none of the waves that should go with it, which in my book is super-lame.

The next few days of the forecast run don’t look any better. This is Saturday morning…the high is trying to reestablish itself in a more normal position but it is not strong enough to stand up to another incoming cold front.

By Monday we get more bad weather…and the high-pressures continue to screw up our swell window. (A 1040-mb high-pressure is pretty damn strong).

There is one ray of hope way out of the forecast charts…so far in fact that we shouldn’t expect much out of it yet…but it is worth keeping an eye on.

The 168-hour forecast chart (the odds equivalent of doubling down on back to back 14’s in blackjack)…does have a nice storm brewing up in the Gulf on Christmas Eve…who knows we might get a nice present from Santa after all this crappy/small surf.

In the meantime…the local mountains just got about 3 feet of snow, and there is more on the way…at least it is still boardriding

Thursday’s (blank) – The small spell continues

So Thursday isn’t looking like much of a surf day.

Seriously I am getting a little sick of writing that line…I am bored with the lack of waves and writing about the lack of waves…and I am sure that you all are bored reading about it. I know that a few of the windswell spots have been at least marginally rideable but the combo of funky weather and pootacular water quality haven’t made a paddle out very appealing.

Thursday the weather shifts around a bit, the rain moves out but W-NW winds are forecast to follow the front and should chop up conditions, and also come in from such a steep angle that we don’t get any more size out of the already small windswell.

So we can expect mostly weak windswell, some tiny SW background swell, and onshore winds. Where do I sign up!...Actually my friend keeps asking me if I want to head to the local mountains for a snowboard session which might be the best call any of us could make…anyway wave heights will be around knee-waist high for most of the exposed spots. A few of the standout breaks down in Southern San Diego (and probably through Southern Ventura as well) will have some chest high waves on inconsistent sets. Shape looks mostly poor but may have a bit more of a window in the morning.

This is the COAMPS forecast for Thursday morning’s dawn patrol…not very promising.

Here are the tides

02:15AM LST 4.3 H
08:02AM LST 2.2 L
01:20PM LST 4.0 H
08:15PM LST 0.6 L

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Snow Forecast

Hey gang...this is a little random since this is a surf forecast site.

Anyhoo I have been doing a weekly snow forecast for and decided that I would put in up in blog format as well.

So if you are looking for a general, nationwide, snow/winter-weather outlook...I now have a site you can visit.

It is updated weekly but it can give you a halfway decent idea of where the good snow is getting dumped across the US...and maybe help you get a few fresh tracks at your favorite resorts.



Waves for Wednesday (Well sort of) – Not much out there

Wednesday doesn’t look like a surf day despite cleaner conditions.

The winds will be better but unfortunately we will have mostly weak leftover swell and polluted water to sit around in (and slowly get poisoned).

Wavewise we are going to have a mix of weak W-WNW leftovers and tiny touch of southern hemi swell that is holding in the background. Both of these swells will be small and have pretty short periods so the surf that does show will be soft and gutless.

Most spots will be in the knee high+ range with a few rare (gutless) waist high sets. A few of the standout windswell spots and the better exposed NW breaks will have some chest high+ sets but again it will be on the weak side.

Winds are better…mostly light/variable to light offshore for most areas in the morning and then weak to moderate onshore winds by the afternoon. Most of the weather models are still calling for a level of instability in our local weather…maybe even some rain and thunderstorms…but it appears to be in the upper levels of the atmosphere, which means we may get the weather but without the wind. Generally, in my experience, it just means that you can’t put much faith in the models and should spend a little time doing a check with the surfcams or the MarkIV Eyeball before heading to the beach.

Here is the latest weather update from the NWS graphical forecast.

Check out the same time-period for the winds.

Anyway it is sort of a moot point without any surf tomorrow. If you do want to go out and get some lovely HepC with a side of heavy metal poisoning from the runoff…I would take a small wave board (probably a longboard) and try and stay away from storm drains and rivermouths.

Here are the tides

01:18AM LST 4.1 H
06:29AM LST 2.3 L
12:06PM LST 4.9 H
07:23PM LST -0.1 L

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tuesday’s Surf – Poo Patrol

Tuesday isn’t going to be a surf day.

Yeah there will be some more size to our surf but it is going to be mostly short-period S-SSW windswell, which is a bit weird since we generally get W-WSW windswell when a storm moves over us like this one did.

Anyway the S facing spots will have plenty of chest-shoulder high slop while the top spots go bigger and uglier.

Winds are forecast to continue out of the W…mostly 10-15 knots through the morning and then backing off to about 10+ knots for the afternoon. Periods of rain will continue on and off for most areas throughout the day.

With the onshore winds, the now completely craptacular water-quality, and the short-period sloppy nature of the swell we have in the water, the surf isn’t going to be much fun. Personally I am going to spend the day planning a snowboard trip…since this bad-boy storm just dropped feet of new snow all over the Sierras and will dump on the Rockies over the next couple of days...well that and staring wistfully out the window and sighing as the winds/rain just trash the surf that much more.

Things will start to improve later this week but there ain’t much swell lining up for us at this point. I have a feeling that we are going to see some better storm action lining up in the long-range portion of the forecast in a couple of days. I will keep you posted.

Random Morning Update - Ouch!

This may be one of the worst COAMPS observations that I have ever seen. It isn't a forecast model...this was built using real observations at 5am this morning.

Basically the ocean is getting hit with the ugly stick right now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Monday’s Stormy Mess – Yeah it is going to be total crap

Monday will not be a surf day…we have the worst of both worlds rolling through. The weather is going to be poo…and the storm sending the weather is positioned in such a way that we won’t really see an increase in swell (expect for the sloppy windswell nonsense that you get with strong afternoon winds).

Basically it means that unless Mother Nature really just wants to screw with my forecasts, and somehow miraculously whisks the storm away and sends us a new swell, we aren’t going to be doing much surfboard riding tomorrow.

I won’t bore you with the details so I will give you the broad strokes…just expect surf below chest high, SW-WSW winds around 20-25 knots, and rain.

On a happier note the freeways will be totally f-ed up since none of us here in SoCal can drive when there has been more than a 1/10th of an inch of rain. Ah good times.

how do you turn the wipers on!?!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Waves for the Weekend - Sloppy with an extra side of funky

It doesn’t look like much of a surf weekend...the surf stays on the small side with just sort of substandard swells, the weather gets sort of nasty as rain and S winds move in, and if that wasn't bad enough we have a super high tide that peaks in the mornings and just buries us.

Surfwise we are going to have a mix of SSW energy and some local WNW windswell on Saturday. The average exposed breaks will have surf in the waist-high+ range while the better combo spots stay right around chest high with some rare chest high+ sets. Shape will be a bit soft since all of these swells have fairly short periods (around 12-14 seconds on the SSW'er and around 6-8 on WNW energy)...add in that the high tide swamps it...and it looks like mostly close to shore mushburgers or shorebreak.

Sunday the WNW energy builds as more windswell starts to will be pretty steep with most of the energy coming in around 290-300+ and the winds setting it up will come along with shape isn't going to be that great. The top exposed spots will build into the chest-shoulder high+ range by the afternoon...maybe even a few bigger waves at the really good windswell spots.

Weather is what really works us over. S-SW winds around 10-15 knots and periods of rain start to arrive on Saturday (probably strongest by the afternoon). Sunday will see the same winds in the morning and then more W-erly flow by the afternoon...probably more rain as well. Looks like another cold front with more consistent rain pushes through the area on Monday. (lame).

Anyway I don't think it will be worth spending much time trying to hunt down the surf this weekend...the combo of the tide, weather, and lack of surf is going to be pretty frustrating. There may be a couple of small surf windows out there if you need to get in the water for some if you "have" to surf I would try and pick a spot with the right mix of protection from the winds, lack of tide sensitivity, but with still enough exposure to pull in a few waves...(yeah like you are going to find a lot spots like this). Really I think your best bet is to keep an eye on the local winds, if they aren't too bad give the cams a quick check and see if you can spot a fun peak or two.

Have a good one...

PS...if I don't make it back on Monday it is because I had too much fun at the Christmas party and ended up borrowing (I believe the technical term is "piracy") someone's Duffy Boat and terrorized Newport Harbor. Man I love holiday parties!

Here are the tides

02:18AM LST 2.0 L
08:31AM LST 7.0 H
04:05PM LST -1.7 L
10:35PM LST 3.8 H

03:10AM LST 2.1 L
09:19AM LST 6.8 H
04:54PM LST -1.5 L
11:27PM LST 3.8 H

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Friday's Surf - isn't it supposed to get big in the winter?

Obviously that is a rhetorical question...the answer is a "hell yes". It is supposed to be big, consistent, cold and gnarly. Instead we have this...

I know, I isn't "really" totally flat...there were a couple of people riding waves out there on Thursday but the window for playful shape was pretty small...(and I didn't see anybody over 170lbs having that much fun).

It seems that we have the near trifecta of suckiness going on...small/weak swell, insane tide swings swamping or draining out what little surf we have, and as we head into the weekend the weather goes to poop too (without generating that much more surf).

Anyway on to Friday...Friday is going to have a lot of the same problems that Thursday had, but with a little more swell starting to filter in from both the WNW and the SW. Unfortunately neither of the small pulses is going to have enough juice to break through the morning tide...and they are going to get worked as the tide drops in the afternoon.

If you happen to luck into the magic window between high/low tides look for surf in the waist high range for most exposed breaks. Top spots, mostly the better combo breaks, will have some chest high sets.

Winds look good for the morning, mostly light and variable to moderately offshore for LA/VEN areas. Look for variable winds through the afternoon and then winds shift to the S-SW and start to push in more cloud cover by the evening (and overnight into Saturday)

Really I wouldn't go to the beach expecting much on Friday...that way if you find a couple of playful sets you can be pleasantly surprised. Beach breaks will likely have the best shape...and your best bet is going to be your small wave gear (probably a longboard will be the best call). Once the tide starts to drop it should be a pretty forgiving day for beginners...small enough to be fun if you are just learning and close enough to the shore that you won't have to paddle too far. Don't spend a lot of time driving around isn't going to be any better around the corner.

Let's hope the real surf gets going again are the tides.

01:29AM LST 2.0 L
07:44AM LST 7.0 H (Come on, you have got to be kidding me! A 9-foot tide swing!)
03:17PM LST -1.7 L
09:44PM LST 3.7 H

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thursday's Surf - More Swamp Thing

Thursday will be surfable but we are going to have to wait for the morning high tide to drain out...and it is going to be pretty small after it does.

There isn't a ton of swell in the water...we have some leftover WNW energy and some new but not very consistent SSW swell from the Southern Hemisphere.

Average spots will be running around knee-waist high. The top breaks, mostly the good combo spots, will have some chest high+ sets on the lower tides.

Winds look good again tomorrow as well. Mostly light/variable to light-offshore for the morning and then variable onshore for the afternoon with gusts around 10 knots or so.

Shapewise expect small, sort of gutless waves for most areas, probably best for a big board if you are a larger guy or fishy shapes if you are on the smaller side. SD and OC will probably have the most surf...but most areas are looking on the weak side. The beach breaks will probably do the best since they have a tendency to be a bit more rideable on the bigger tide swings if you can find a decent sandbar. I would probably skip the dawn patrol the morning tide is brutal will probably look a lot like this.

Tide-swampy it is!

Here are the tides.

12:42AM LST 1.9 L
06:59AM LST 6.8 H (yikes!)
02:31PM LST -1.4 L
08:55PM LST 3.7 H

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Surf for Wednesday - Fading but fun

Wednesday looks like a surf day...mostly because the winds will be light/moderate offshore and we will have sunny skies...not because of the swell.

There will be waves. We will have a mix of small leftover WNW swell and some slowly increasing S-SSW energy. Most spots will hold around waist high...maybe waist high+ on the lower tides. Standout breaks, really just the good combo breaks, will have some chest and inconsistent shoulder high waves on the lower midday tides as well.

Check out the ain't totally dark blue but it is getting close.

Really the weather is what is going to make it more of a surf day. The Santa Ana flow picked up on Tuesday and in a few of the better positioned areas in Ventura, LA, OC, and parts of SD, it created some fun surf out of waves that would have been a bit marginal if the winds had been lighter...or even crappy surf if they had turned even slightly onshore. It looks like more of the same on Wednesday...sort of light/ moderate offshore flow for the morning and then more moderate Santa Ana conditions through most of the day. Eventually winds back off and turn more N-NW by the afternoon. Passes and Canyons are going to see the strongest gusts particularly around LA/Ventura areas.

Shapewise you are going to want to avoid the dawn patrol...the high tide is going to really kill shape for most spots...even with the cleaner winds. Expect lots of burger shape with some lovely offshore shorebreak for most spots through the morning. I would probably plan on checking the combo beach breaks as the tide starts dropping and see if you can pick off some peaks as we get a little less water. Areas that are prone to stronger Santa Ana's and like combo swells will be the best call tomorrow.

Here are the tides...

06:16AM LST 6.4 H (stupid high tide)
01:45PM LST -1.0 L
08:04PM LST 3.6 H

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Cleaner, smaller, with a touch of high-tideness

Tuesday looks like a surf day...but we are going to probably want to wait for the high tide to drop.

We will have a mix of backing off WNW swell and some smaller but consistent SSW energy that is holding in the background.

Average spots will be in the waist-chest high+ range while the top WNW standouts and excellent combo breaks see surf around chest-head high on sets. The bigger waves will be less consistent through the morning thanks to the high tide swamp but we should see more playful shape as the tide drops through midday.

Winds look decent...mostly light and variable to light offshore for most spots in the morning with some stronger NE gusts around the LA/Ventura passes and Canyons. Light onshore winds develop through the afternoon.

If you have the flexibility to work around the tide that is going to be your best call...there should still be plenty of fun waves at the better exposed spots throughout SoCal once the tide starts to drain out. SD will have the biggest surf since it is still picking up more of the WNW-NW energy...but the combo breaks throughout the other areas should have some playful peaks sneaking through...particularly at the more exposed beach breaks.

Here are the tides...have a good one.

05:37AM LST 6.0 H (damn)
01:00PM LST -0.3 L
07:09PM LST 3.5 H
11:57PM LST 1.8 L

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Random Sunday Morning Surf Report – Stay in bed…the wheels sort of came off this morning.

Just did a quick beach check this morning and couldn’t find much of anything…and looking out over the outer buoys it looks like that new WNW swell is going to be quite a bit smaller, on Sunday and Monday, than I was anticipating…which sucks in a lot of ways.

I can already see where both I (and a couple of the forecast computer models) overestimated how much the storm would be able to capitalize on existing sea-state…and sort of glossed over the fact that the storm petered out in place rather than moving towards us, which is great in all but doesn’t change the fact that I am pissed that the swell isn’t showing this morning, and when it does fill in it will be smaller than I was calling for.

If that wasn’t enough a weak ripple in the local weather cropped up overnight bringing increasing onshore winds to chunk up already burgery leftover swell that is being swamped by the tide. So it is smaller, crappier, and swampier…all of which is a good reason to stay in bed this morning.

The swell does fill in a bit more this afternoon and the tide drops as well but it looks like the wind is going to funk it up and come onshore around 10-14 knots out of the NW. If you need to surf wait till later in the day and try and pick a winter spot that is protected from the wind.

Damn…I wanted to surf today too.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Waves for the weekend - Get Some!

It is going to be a good surf weekend...seriously if there weren't some awesome football games I might consider staying at the beach all day both days. (Actually that is what they invented TIVO for! Nevermind I will be at the beach all weekend).

There is going to be plenty of surf this weekend...we have the WNW'er that peaked on Friday dropping off on Saturday but still sending in plenty of waves as it mixes with some overlapping S-SW swells. Most spots will continue to see waist-shoulder high surf tomorrow with the top winter breaks and combo spots seeing some head high+ sets (Much less consistent than Friday's surf though).

Sunday (and Monday) we have another solid pulse of WNW swell (280-300) and some stronger S-SSW swell (180-190) moving in and peaking by midday, then holding through the afternoon and into early Monday. At this point it looks like plenty of exposed spots will be running chest-head high. Standout NW facing spots, mostly in San Diego, as well as a few of the better WNW/S facing combo spots will have consistent shoulder-head high+ surf with sets going a foot or two overhead at times.

Check out the CDIP can see the smaller swell on Saturday and then back up as the new swells fill in Sunday/Monday. (Note that those days the forecast model looks very similar to what we had on Friday).

Winds look good as well...light and variable to light offshore for most areas on Saturday...even moderately offshore for the North LA/Ventura regions. Light onshore winds develop through the afternoon.

Sunday the winds shift a little more N but stay about 10 knots through the morning. NW winds around 10 knots build in through the afternoon.

Really with this combination of swells is going to put fun waves almost everywhere except for the most extremely shadowed locations. Biggest surf will definitely be around San Diego, with Ventura and the South Bay coming in close seconds. Everywhere else will be a touch smaller but there will be that S swell out there crossing things up so shape should be pretty good. I think the beach breaks are going to have the best shape (which is nice since we can spread out and try and get a peak to ourselves...and in my case a peak to myself and about 20 of my dolphin friends...seriously I can't get away from those guys, I think I may start some sort of dolphin training school or just get a job at sea-world..WTF)...but the points and reefs, particular the spots that have decent exposure to the WNW swell will be very fun too. Santa Barbara will have waves but expect the surf to be a bit smaller thanks to swell shadowing from Point Conception and the Channel Islands (for the S swell). Anyway hope you get some this weekend...remember to share!

damn you Flipper!

Here are the tides...

03:57AM LST 4.4 H
10:29AM LST 2.1 L
03:29PM LST 3.3 H
09:42PM LST 1.2 L

04:28AM LST 4.9 H
11:27AM LST 1.3 L
04:56PM LST 3.3 H
10:27PM LST 1.4 L

Random Friday Morning Surf Report - WNW swell is showing nicely

Hey Guys...I just got out of the water and I thought I would throw up a a quick report. The WNW'er is showing pretty good...I was out in North HB for the dawn patrol and there was some definite size.

Most waves were running around shoulder-head high+ but a few of the (less consistent) bigger sets were overhead to a couple of feet overhead. Shape was good, peaky with hollow shoulders and some zippy sections as the waves lined up on the inside bar.

The swell is a bit fickle from a swell direction standpoint...between where I was this morning and the pier the size dropped about 2-3' feet off the was still fun by the pier but a bit smaller. Check out the CDIP from this morning and you can see how the swell is wrapping through the Nearshore islands.

Most of the energy is heading to SD, in particular south San Diego, but there is plenty of swell hitting Southern Ventura, the South Bay, North OC, and the rest of San Diego as well. (The green and yellow colors are your friends).

Anyway I hope you are out getting some this morning (and not reading this on the computer)...if you are stuck in an office somewhere try and sneak out. The surf may slow down a touch as the tide fills in but it is sunny, winds are light, and we have a fun winter swell in the water. Definitely a good reason to go home, uh...sick.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Surf Photos: Hawaii Thanksgiving Weekend Swell

Hey gang...remember when I sent out the Random Surf Forecast Post about Hawaii getting some macking WNW-NW swell over the Holiday weekend (I barely remember so I don't really expect you to)...anyway a good buddy of mine was over on vacation in Oahu and took a bunch of photos.

I have been screwing around with the new Picasa3 which lets you create slideshow movies on the fly with very little tech skills...and since there are probably trained monkeys with more techical skills than I have...these new enhanced features are nice. So anyhoo I gave it a shot. (if you are seeing this post as an email you are going to have to break down and visit the website...hahaha you slackers)

If you want to see the pictures as normal images in a web album (or just hate Toots and the Maytals for some reason) can check them out here.


Friday's Surf - A good argument for a 3 day weekend

Friday will be a surf day.

The new WNW swell (285-300) started filling in on was showing best up around Ventura but there were some new sets starting to sneak into the better NW facing spots throughout SoCal before sundown. This new WNW'er will continue to build overnight and will be peaking on Friday. There will also be a touch of background S-SW energy out there as well so the summer spots, while they will be much smaller, will still have a few waves as well.

Check out the CDIP model. This is showing the energy this afternoon...

Look for most spots with some exposure to the WNW swell to see surf in the chest-shoulder high range. The average combo spots will be about the same size as well. The top winter NW facing spots, mostly in San Diego and Southern Ventura, will have surf in the shoulder-head high range with fairly consistent overhead+ sets mixing in as well. The top combo spots will be a little smaller but should have plenty of fun shaped surf throughout the day.

Winds are looking good as well...mostly light and variable to light offshore for most spots through the morning. Passes and Canyons in Ventura and LA Counties may see some moderate offshore flow for the morning. NW winds around 10-knots build in through the there is a definite chance at getting rideable if not fun surf as we head toward sundown...which is like at 3:30 or something.

San Diego and Ventura are going to be your best bet if you are looking for consistently larger surf...but there is going to be plenty of playful waves spread throughout SoCal so you won't need to drive very far unless you want too. I would still try to get your session lined up with the lower tides, just because I like the faster shape you get on the lower tide, but the high-tide isn't that bad so it should stay surfable for most of the day as well.

If you have to work tomorrow...don't sweat it too bad, there will be plenty of waves over the weekend, even a couple of slightly bigger WNW and S swells lining up for Sunday/Monday. Man I love surf.

Here are the tides...hope you get some tomorrow!

03:25AM LST 3.9 H
09:07AM LST 2.8 L
01:49PM LST 3.6 H
08:57PM LST 1.0 L

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Waves for Thursday – leftovers in the morning…new WNW swell for the afternoon

Thursday is looking like another surf day. We are going to have a holding combo of WNW/SW swell leftovers in the morning and a new WNW’er filling into the exposed breaks up around Ventura later in the afternoon.

During the morning our swell mix will be a bit of WNW swell (280-300) and some S-SW swell (190-210). Neither will be very big or energetic but there will still be some playful peaks at the top spots and the good combo breaks.

Look for the average spots to hold around waist-chest high…while the best combo breaks get up around chest-shoulder high on the sets.

The new WNW’er (285-300) starts to arrive up in Ventura (and a few of the exposed areas in Santa Barbara…unfortunately not many spots will be exposed to this swell around there…you will probably need to head down to Ventura…or you know…a boat or something)…anyway the swell begins to show around midday and builds in through the afternoon. Expect the average spots, mostly in Ventura, to see some chest-shoulder high sets after the tide drops…top spots will be close to head high around sundown.

Winds look mostly light and variable again on Thursday…even a little light offshore up around Ventura and LA. Look for some variable texture through San Diego and parts of OC as some slight southerly flow pushes through during the morning. W winds around 10-knots fill in through the afternoon.

I think that you will have the most fun if you just stick around your local spots…unless you are within striking distance of a decent WNW facing spot or a good combo break. The morning should be fun...then it will bog out a bit with the tide…then we see a lot of the consistency drain out as the tide drops.

This swell fills in more on Friday and Saturday for the rest of SoCal…check out the sideways forecast and you can see what I mean. (Note that the size range 6-9’ is being pretty generous for this swell…I am expecting the affected spots to see surf much closer to the 6’ side of that size range). We will also see some building offshore flow for Friday/Saturday so it looks like it could be a fun couple of days lining up.

Here are the tides…hope you get a few tomorrow. Oh and if you get a chance I would be super stoked if you would share the blog with your friends.

02:48AM LST 3.6 H
07:14AM LST 3.1 L
12:21PM LST 4.0 H
08:10PM LST 0.8 L

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Waves for Wednesday - A few leftover waves for Hump Day

Wednesday will be another surf day. It will have some issues with the tide, and possibly some more of that silly fog in the morning...but overall there will still be a few fun waves sneaking through at the exposed spots.

I heard a bunch of reports from our surf clan out there today that made it sound pretty fun. I even snagged a pretty fun-looking sunset session off of one of the San Diego surf cams. Check it out...

Swellwise the current WNW'er we have doing most of the work will be backing down leaving us with mostly WNW leftovers and small background pulse of SW swell. It won't be flat or anything but overall it will be smaller and less consistent.

Average spots can expect surf in the waist high range with a few waist high+ sets.

Standout NW facing breaks, mostly through San Diego but also creeping into a couple of the better winter combo spots in other regions as well, will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range on inconsistent sets.

Winds look good...mostly light and variable with a few areas of light offshore flow in the morning. Looks like overcast skies still, maybe some areas of fog...then slightly clearer skies by the afternoon. Winds stay light most of the day but will get some slight onshore bump by the second part of the day.

Expect just sort of small and playful surf for most areas tomorrow. It will be a good excuse to break out the fish or the other small wave gear and have some fun. The top spots will be a little speedier and have a little more punch but in general it won't be very critical. The tide is going to hurt it a bit more as the swell drops so try to avoid the peak of the high if you can.

Here are the tides...

01:58AM LST 3.5 H
05:30AM LST 3.2 L
11:18AM LST 4.5 H
07:24PM LST 0.5 L

Oh and a couple of notes on the long-range forecast...we will be getting another decent round of WNW swell moving in later on Thursday and peaking Friday/Saturday. This looks like it will be followed by another pulse of WNW energy on the 7-8th (and we may see a bigger SSW swell at the same time...hmmm can you say combo swell?). I will throw up some more details over the next couple of days.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tuesday's Surf - Fading WNW swell buried in more fog

Tuesday will be another surf day. The swell is fading and we are going to have some more light but funky winds through the morning but there will still be enough energy that you should be able to pick off a few fun ones.

Swellwise we are going to have a mix of fading WNW swell (285-300 degrees, with a lot of the energy above the 290 mark). There will also be a touch of background S-SW swells from the Southern Hemi.

Most spots will be around waist-chest high with a few shoulder high sets at the better W facing spots and combo breaks.

The standout NW facing spots, mostly through Southern San Diego, will have consistent shoulder-head high surf with a few overhead sets through the morning before the high tide gets a solid grip.

Winds generally look ok...mostly light but with a variable onshore texture for most areas. The fog will continue to hang around too so look for cooler and breezier conditions as the banks shift around. Stupid fog. W winds will be onshore around 10-12+ knots for the afternoon. Here is a shot of the NWS winds but it doesn't do the variable fog texture much justice.

There will still be plenty of waves coming through from this swell but it won't be as punchy or consistent as it has been. If you surf try and stick to the NW facing spots that can handle a little more tide...these breaks will have more surfable shape longer compared to other spots. SD, southern SD in particular, will have the biggest and most consistent probably won't be worth driving thanks to the fog and the wind but if you are already in the area and like bigger waves that is going to be your best bet.

Here are the tides...have fun

12:58AM LST 3.3 H
04:22AM LST 3.0 L
10:32AM LST 4.9 H
06:37PM LST 0.3 L