Monday, January 19, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – Slow fade

Tuesday morning will be a surf day but the WNW swell that peaked Sunday afternoon/Monday will be on the way down.

The WNW’er (280-300) will be slowly fading throughout the day. There will still be plenty of waves for the exposed breaks but not as much size/power as we saw on Monday.

Wave heights will hold in the chest-shoulder high range at the average WNW facing spots. The Standout NW facing breaks…mostly in San Diego…see some shoulder-head high surf with some overhead sets continuing to mix in.

Weatherwise it is going to be pretty similar to Monday just not as hot. Expect mostly variable to offshore winds through the morning and light onshore flow out of the NW around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. High clouds and some humidity creeping around as well.

As for the best spots tomorrow…well the CDIPer from this afternoon is a good reference.



The swell has a bit more west energy in it compared to the stuff that tried to move in over the weekend. You can see that it is doing a better (but not great) job of filling in some of the gaps. Really, if you are looking for big waves, San Diego is going to be the call…Ventura and the South Bay are going to be good backups but won’t be as consistent. From what I have heard it sounds like the point and reefs are showing the best shape…a few of the beach breaks that hook the swell the right way are ok too but the swell is sort of lined up at times so you sort of need something for the swell to shape up on. If you have the time I think that Tuesday would be a better day to drive around…most everyone is back at work so there may be some more open spots out there. (after the dawn patrol of course).

Here are the tides…

04:45 4.9 H
12:43 0.1 L
07:35 3.0 H
11:14 2.6 L

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

adam, you nailed this last swell perfectly while everyone called it bigger. cheers.

Anonymous said...

Going to el porto or playa tomorrow. Hopefully its not closed out!!!

Anonymous said...

Going to el porto or playa tomorrow. Hopefully its not closed out!!!

Hugh said...

yeah, you got it right on, man. once again, thanks for all the work you put into this.

Anonymous said...

just me, or did the water get like 10 degrees colder? man, it was cold out there today.

Anonymous said...

Adam, got a technical question for you: while CDIP was showing 5.8 @ 12 secs, HB was OH+ on the sets. In fact, it was the biggest it's been throughout the entire swell.

My general rule of thumb is that CDIP needs a combined 8.0 (6.0 N + 2.0 S is the best) for HB to generate anything even remotely similar to the size/power of El Porto, Vland, etc.

However, today it was the best it's been in quite awhile. The Katin really lucked out, but as usually happens, the guys waiting for heats clogged up the peak on the reverse side.

Anyway, I know you saw it, so what's your take on what happened?

Adam Wright said...

Thanks Guys! I am stoked that you guys could make some good calls off the forecasts...on a personal level I was bummed when the storms didn't live up to the hype (I like good surf too!) but it is better to know what to expect.

As for the CDIP question...I like the CDIPer since it is such a great visual tool to show how a swell is hitting the coast but at the same time I don't like some of the tweaks that it performs on the data when it is displaying it.

Basically the short answer to your question...is that the CDIP was either giving the "average" swell period/direction for that model run...or was blending two portions of swell that was out in the water. I wouldn't say that it was flat out wrong...just that the data it was creating the model with was probably bad on some level.

The swell, like most swells from the north pacific doesn't get the decay "grooming" that a swell from the SPAC would get. The storm itself was also a complex low-pressure so it had multiple embedded fronts cycling around a central low-pressure, which means winds weren't always super consistent.

What that eventually broke down to was a series of overlapping swells that hit the coast starting later on Saturday (and are continuing into tomorrow). The swell period and the direction varied through each pulse...so while CDIP and most of us forecasters lumped it into one "WNW swell event" it was actually a bunch of seperate swells overlapping.

The CDIP and WWIII both get a little overwhelmed when that happens and get some funky readings, particularly when the swell periods are similar in length.

If you go back and look at the historical CDIP images you can see how the periods went from 17 in the early morning to 12, to 14, to 16 throughout each hour.

Here check it out...

http://cdip.ucsd.edu/?nav=recent&sub=nowcast&units=metric&tz=UTC&pub=public&xitem=get_model

anyway that was my long rambling answer for the day...hope it made sense.