Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Thursday’s Surf – A chance at some building W swell

Overall Thursday isn’t going to be a great surf day BUT there is a chance for us to pick off some of the building W swell in the morning before the wind and the weather get to it.

We are going to see a mix of building W-WNW energy (270-300) filling throughout the day…it is going to be a funky mix of longer-period energy from a storm that brushed the edge of the Gulf of Alaska, and some medium/short-period energy coming in from a storm just off the coast.

Check out the GOES Satellite photo of this storm…

You can see the little spinner just off the coast…(it is also the one that will be sending us the weather for the next several days). Storms like this are sort of a pain in the ass from a forecasting standpoint. They are a bit fluky…sometimes coming on strong and then sometimes only showing circulation in the upper levels without “wind on the water” that we need for swell. They also are low enough in latitude that swell they produce misses the outer buoys and comes directly into the coast…hitting everywhere about the same time…with little warning or readings before they arrive.

Anyway this one seems like it has pretty good circulation on the surface, and so I have a tendency to agree with the wave-model, and expect new W swell arriving tomorrow, peaking tomorrow night, and holding solid into Friday.

Check out the CDIP sideways forecast…lots of swell…(but a lot of the stuff showing Friday/Sat is going to be wind chop layering in on top of the actual swell).

Sizewise I am expecting most of the W facing beaches to see surf in the chest-shoulder high range through the morning. The top spots will have some bigger sets mixing in…probably close to head high through the morning. Eventually this swell will peak in the afternoon (into Friday) with surf running consistently in the chest-head high+ range for most W facing breaks. Top spots, mostly in San Diego, The South Bay, and Ventura, will have overhead surf with sets going a couple of feet overhead at times.

Weather is going to be the issue…the front from this system is coming in right after the swell starts to arrive. I am crossing my fingers that it will stall a little bit and give us a chance at getting some fun waves before it falls apart.

The COAMPS wind model is showing morning winds to be running ESE-SE through the morning around sunrise…but shifting straight to the S by midmorning. Forecasts are calling for scattered showers through the morning and more rain by the afternoon.

Check out the difference between 1200 zulu (4am)

and 1500 zulu (8am)

As for getting waves tomorrow…we are going to have swell…but we need to work around the wind. I think the best call is going to be W facing spots that are sheltered from the S winds. Yeah it won’t be really southy winds right at first…but I am thinking about longer sessions…if you pick a spot with some protection it will stay cleaner longer as the winds start to switch, giving you a better shot at bigger surf as the W-WNW swell fills in. (There are quite a few spots along the coast that have this sort of set up…take a closer look at the COAMPS and you should be able to find a few spots).

Anyway here are the tides…lets get some surf tomorrow.

04:51AM LST 5.6 H
12:45PM LST -0.9 L
07:24PM LST 3.3 H
11:40PM LST 2.2 L


Anonymous said...

Adam, you should add sunrise and sunset, next to tides. Just a suggestion

Seth said...

Surfed Oceanside this morning...offshore stuff starting to show...south wind hit about 9 or 10.