Friday, April 17, 2009

Swell Alert – Another S-SSW swell

The South Pacific, especially the part that makes up our swell window, really likes springtime. We have already had two pretty decent S swells...and I don’t know about the rest of you but I have surfed more over the last few weeks than I did almost completely through Dec-Jan.

Anyway, like I mentioned in yesterday’s forecast we have another S-SSW swell (180-200) heading our way. This swell was kicked out by a pretty decent looking system that had been trolling around the South Pacific for the last 4-5 days.

Check out what the QuikSCAT passes picked up on this storm...

And here is some Altimetry data from the JASON-1 satellite. (As always a big thanks to Mark @ stormsurf for letting me use an image now and then...please check out his site when you get a chance...the guy is an awesome forecaster and brilliant at putting the wave/wind/satellite data into useable formats).

Thanks to all of the pretty colors you can see that the storm had cranked up the core wind speeds into the 50-knot+ range at times as well as laid down a solid area of fetch. What was even better was that this storm had a lot of pre-existing sea-state to work with, which basically means that a previous storm came through moving roughly the same direction and tore up enough of the ocean surface that the winds in this new system didn’t have to work so hard...sort of like the “shampoo-effect” if you have ever had back to back days of drinking. All of this storm action has strung together a pretty solid pulse of SSW swell that will be hitting the usual regions starting around the middle of next week.

Here are the details...

Mainland Mexico and Central America
The really long-period energy (and I am talking 20+ seconds) of the SW’er (200-220) fills in slowly on the 21st...but the peak of the swell hits late on the 22nd and holds solid through the 23rd and 24th. Look for spots in this region to see consistent overhead+ surf at the better exposed spots. Standout breaks, particularly the good deepwater spots and outer reefs, will see sets going several feet overhead to nearly double-overhead at times. Even though the swell drops after the 24th expect several days of quality surf to continue to push into the region.

Baja Sur
The S-SSW swell (180-210) hits exposed areas on the 22nd and then peaks on the 23-24th. The swell is a little more southerly for this area compared to Mainland Mexico and Central America so it hits around the same time but with less size. As the swell peaks look for consistent head high sets at the average S facing spots while the standout breaks see overhead+ sets with some waves going a 2-3’ overhead on inconsistent sets. The majority of this energy will show at those really well-exposed spots...expect the more protected points/reefs to be smaller (but still fun).

Southern California
The S-SSW’er (180-210) fills in with the long-period forerunners on the 22nd, but with most of the energy arriving through the afternoon evening. The swell comes up fast through the 23rd and eventually peaks late that Thursday...holding through Friday and Saturday (the 24-25th) before dropping. In our region this swell looks good for shoulder-head high surf for the average S facing spots. The standout S-facing summer spots, mostly through Orange County (but in a few of the other regions too), will have more consistent head high and overhead surf with sets going 1-2’ overhead during the best conditions.

Hope you guys get a few good ones out of this swell.


Anonymous said...

as long as surfy surfs mom's keeps her stinky legs this looks good.

Anonymous said...

The problem with South Swells is they are always forecast so far in advance that they get all hyped up and then the whole F'n world shows on the first day of the swell......80-90 heads at Blacks...ughh.......pop up wind swells4lyfe................

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm so awesome that I don't read the forecasts either.

Una Ola Surf Resort said...

Hey Adam,

Thanks for another update. We are looking forward to getting some sick waves from this swell. When are you coming down?