Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Swell Alert – New WNW swell for the weekend

There is a nice sized storm pulling together just to the NW of Hawaii that is going to send us some new W-WNW swell for the weekend.

Based on what I am seeing right now it doesn’t look like it is going to be super-huge...but it will be quite a bit healthier than the small stuff we have limping in right now.

The first portion of the storm has already formed and is generating surf...check it out on the QUIKscat...here is the full Pacific shot...



Here is the storm close-up...(as of Monday)



There are some good wind speeds in the storm but it is not spectacular...to top it off while the winds are laying down some fetch there is still a lot of North/South motion in the storm, which is better for Hawaii than the West Coast (and SoCal in particular).

The real kicker is going to be a secondary front that moves into the bigger low-pressure over the next 36-hours...if it can really pump up wind speeds we could be looking at a bigger swell for the weekend. Lately though I have been unimpressed with the GFS (weather model) accuracy, which is a fancy way of saying that it has been “sucking balls” at estimating surface winds in the mid-latitudes.

Continuing on my buzzkill...I also don’t like that this storm breaks apart and drifts northward as it barely moves past Hawaii...to get a real large swell we need the low to ride it up close to the coast and give it a final kick in the pants before it starts to hit...we aren’t going to see that with this system.

Anyway...enough negative vibes...even with all of its “issues” there is still going to be some decent energy coming out of this storm.

We can expect to see some very long-period energy WNW (275-300 but with most of the energy around 290-300) on Friday (16th)...don’t look for much in the morning but the better exposed spots will start to get some bigger waves by the afternoon/evening.

This new swell will peak at winter spots on the 17-18th. At this point it looks good for chest-shoulder high+ surf for most of the “average” WNW facing spots in areas like Orange County and Santa Barbara. The better WNW spots will be more in the shoulder-head high+ range on sets.

Standout winter regions like those in San Diego and Southern Ventura will see consistent head high and overhead surf...with some sets going overhead+ particularly on the lower tides.

Weather for the weekend looks good at this point...not really Santa Ana conditions anymore but pretty nice with light winds through the first half of Saturday and Sunday.

This is all I really have for right now...I will post some more updates as we get closer and we get more satellite data from this storm.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think you are under calling it... for the sake of giving us extra good news....

Anonymous said...

beware of the million new kooks with shiny new boards made in china.

Anonymous said...

Attention previous posters
Christmas already passed...
GRINCHES!!!!
-Coconutz out.

Anonymous said...

happy, happy, joy, joy!

Anonymous said...

Re: Kooks.

Not just kooks - because of the wave drought, the crowd will include everyone who has ever surfed, including visitors from out of state.

Remember that this is expected to be a very long period swell, which means long waits & lulls between sets. That means plenty of time for people to paddle back out & rejoin the pack.

And to top it off, recall that this is a 3-day weekend, so people will have the time to travel, which means all good winter spots will be crowded.

My advice to everyone is to take a chill pill. Forget scoring an epic session with just you & some friends (even Mex - you'd be surprised how crowded some spots get) - simply revel in being out in the water with some fun size.

Once you're in the mindset that every good spot is going to have a minimum 3 guys per wave (taking off at the peak, not counting random shoulder hoppers), it becomes a function of trying to be the guy in the back and hoping the others kick out.

On the bright side, since the weather is expected to be nice, you can log some combo 6-8 hr sessions to help boost your wave counts.

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

This is California. It's been crowded since the 50's. No big deal.

Anonymous said...

i'll share at this point. i want some waves! if i have to do figure 8 bottom turns and attempted bunny-hops to get around all the people, so be it. just show me a nice 8-12 foot face. if i strangle some guy with my leash as I'm speeding over his sorry-ass-duck-dive self, it happens.

Anonymous said...

I surf to unwind and relax and that it is going to be tough this weekend here in San Diego. But look on the bright side, current forecasts are showing Monday and Tuesday to be as good as Saturday, Sunday. Hopefully over the weekend all the morons get too hurt and sore to go out anymore. Then early week will be when I'm having fun

er said...

True kooks. Y'all won't make it out anyway... and if I was a beach goer, I'd squirt suntan lotion on you (and yr POS deck) to get you out my sunlight! =)

Anonymous said...

"Monday and Tuesday to be as good as Saturday, Sunday."

It's a 3-day weekend, so Monday will be like Sat/Sun.

"Hopefully over the weekend all the morons get too hurt"

For someone to get hurt usually means they got hit by someone's board. Is that what you're hoping? The flip side is someone hits you with their board.

What experienced surfers should hope for is that a firm pecking order is established, not through intimidation, but by the natural desire to catch waves.

That is, less experienced surfers usually like to hang on the inside just so they can catch some waves ie they don't want to deal with a crowded peak with aggressive B+ to A+ surfers. (Any good spot is gonna have its local 'CT and 'QS pros.)

Since this is a long period swell, the peak is gonna really jump straight up when sets hit. If you aren't experienced surfing steep beach breaks, then it's all gonna seem pretty fast.

That's why I'm hoping the people I'm sharing waves with know how to make the drop and hopefully kick-out if they're not the guy in the back.

Anonymous said...

just stay where you live, and everything will be just fine. if you live there, surf there. if you live away from the ocean, stay away from the ocean. simple, huh? i don't go ride my bike in l.a., why should you come and surf ventura county?
stay home, kooks.

Anonymous said...

Ventura is going to be the spot and everyone from anywhere near(100 miles) should go directly there and catch the awesomeness that Ventura will be this weekend! Cowabunga!

Adam Wright said...

ok guys...lets chill out a bit. This is supposed to be about having fun. Not having a heart attack while thinking about not-having fun. (did that even make sense).

There is going to be enough size to keep the beginners at the beginner spots, the pro/brah-nonsense crowds at the top breaks, and plenty of gaps in-between for the rest of us.

It ain't worth panicing. There are going to be a lot of waves....and if you can't score on the weekend it looks like more fun stuff on tap early next week.

Personally I am going to kick back, chuckle a bit and...watch people burn themselves out on the first couple of days and then as everyones spaz-out energy dies down...get in the groove with the rest of you core guys.

We have waves, lots o waves for the weekend, and more next week...we just got to get around the surfline/wetsand/Socalsurf hype machine (ah crap that one is me...oh I hate myself now too!) and the people they lure ot of the woodwork. eventually they have to go back to work and give us a quiet session here and there.

Buck up campers we got some fun waves coming!