Thursday, January 15, 2009

Swell Alert (Update) - Waves for the weekend

I thought I would give an update on the new WNW swell (275-300+) that we have heading our way...maybe help you plan your weekend a little better.

Like I said earlier this week...this swell is pretty healthy but it isn’t going to be massive. It isn’t going to cure cancer, or cause every man/woman/child that looks at it to burst into flames or anything. It is sort of an average winter just seems like more since it has been so small on and off over the last couple of months. If you are looking for double-overhead+ surf you are going to need to go North of Point Conception, and even then you are going to need to head to the better exposed spots.

The burns...look away!

Ok now that I got that out of my system...

It does look like we are going to have some fun this weekend. There will be plenty of waves (of various sizes) at almost all W-NW facing beaches throughout SoCal. We are going to have to deal with some island shadowing and refraction at some spots...but it will be rideable in some form in every region.

Probably the best place to start is with a visual...check out the CDIP sideways forecast.

As you can see the swell really gets going on Saturday and holds into Sunday (Friday looks pretty sad). You can also see that it doesn’t hit all of the areas with the same amount of energy...yeah there are little pockets of lighter blue spread all over...but it isn’t consistent, which is going to be the case on the beach as well.

This map is a little misleading since it groups the wave heights into 3-foot segments...(and there is quite a difference between a 6’ wave a 9’ wave) you have to take the model with a grain of salt.

Here is how I see it breaking down by region...

Santa Barbara – It will be chest-shoulder high for most of the exposed spots...getting smaller as you move further away from Ventura. A few of the top spots may have some head high sets sneaking in at times. There will be some shadowing issues as well thanks to an undersea ridge that pulls long-period energy into the beaches closer to Point Conception. (I actually think this area will be more fun on Sunday and into early next week as the swell periods get shorter and the swell gets a little more westerly).

Ventura – Mostly shoulder-head high at the average spots. Top breaks will be more consistently in the shoulder-overhead range with sets going a couple of feet overhead as the swell peaks. Southern Ventura will be more consistently overhead. Again expect smaller sizes as you move closer to Santa Barbara.

LA – Most of the average W-NW facing spots in North LA will be around chest high with some chest-shoulder high sets. Top spots may see some bigger sets. The South Bay will be bigger...lots of waves in the shoulder-head high+ range at the better areas. Top spots will go a couple of feet, maybe a bit bigger at the deepwater spots, on the sets.

Orange County – Average W facing spots chest-shoulder high...maybe shoulder high+ on the bigger sets. Top NW facing spots, mostly through North County, will see shoulder-head high+ surf with sets going 1-2’ overhead at the spots that can focus the swell a bit better.

San Diego – This is the best exposed region...most W facing spots throughout the county will be consistently shoulder high to overhead on sets. The top winter spots, mostly from La Jolla southward, will be consistently overhead with sets going 2-3’+ overhead as the swell peaks...maybe a little less punchy on Sunday.

Northern Baja – sees similar size to San Diego for the exposed areas closer to the border...expect sizes to drop off as you move further south into the more protected areas of the North/Central Coast.

I know that this is quite a bit of detail...probably more than some of you would like “everyone else” to have...but pretty much everyone, their cousin, and their dog already knows about this swell, (if they don’t their friend just called to tell them). It is also going to be nice this weekend weatherwise and a lot of people have MLK day that is just going to make things more crowded. Hopefully you will be able to use the forecast to find a semi-quiet pocket to grab a couple of waves...(at least there are going to be waves for a few days in a row). I know I am going to be checking out the lesser quality spots to see if I can find a little slice of fun.

I will probably post a buoy update and some weather stuff tomorrow...but unless I see some massive chance this will be the forecast for the weekend. Have a good one!

01:50AM LST 4.6 H
08:57AM LST 1.4 L
02:17PM LST 2.8 H
07:41PM LST 1.6 L

02:47AM LST 4.7 H
10:36AM LST 1.1 L
04:38PM LST 2.5 H
08:35PM LST 2.2 L


Sleepy Fraud said...

it may not cure cancer or fix the current economic mess, but it will be Hands Across America out there all weekend

Anonymous said...

isn't san pedro looking at 5+ feet of raw swell? i dont lnow but that sounds pretty hefty to me... i'll bet some jack asses will be towing in at trolly's on sunday at low tide.... haha dumb asses.......

Anonymous said...

muchas gracias, amigo. muchas gracias!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see a few guys hop on over from HI since their reward was 25ft victory-at-sea conditions.

Anonymous said...

I have a dream...
that a man of any color
can catch a wave
and ride in equality
without being dropped in on
by local segregationists...
-Coconutz Luther King Jr.

Anonymous said...

holy crap, batman! surfline says sunday is a "GOOD" day to surf. Why, if I'm not mistaken, that has not happened in 3 months! All
we've had is "FAIR-GOOD" at best for over 3 friggin months!

Good times are here again!