Friday, April 3, 2009

Waves for the weekend – better conditions and tasty waves

Well I don’t know about “tasty” waves (I have seen what is usually floating out there)...but both Saturday and Sunday are going to be surf days.

Conditions are going to improve quite a bit as this cold front moves out later Friday night. By Saturday we are going to see a mix of still healthy, but steeply swell-angled NW windswell, some background S-SW energy from a couple of small SPAC storms, as well as a touch of longer-period NW swell from the North Pacific.

On Saturday morning we can expect the average spots to see consistent chest high surf with some less consistent shoulder high sets mixing in. Top NW facing surf spots, mostly through San Diego (but in Ventura and the South Bay as well ), we will see consistent head high sets with some overhead peaks mixing in on the better sandbars. Expect to lose some size at most spots as the NW windswell backs off slowly through the day.

Sunday will be a bit smaller but shape may improve as the shorter swell-periods groom out. There will still be the mix of windswell, S-SW energy and WNW swell...just a little more long-period energy and less local windswell. We can still expect surf in the chest high range for most spots with some inconsistent chest high+ sets. Top combo breaks, in Orange County and San Diego, will have some shoulder high+ sets.

Winds on both days are looking pretty good. Light and variable to light offshore for the mornings...and then the normal moderate onshore for the afternoons (W-NW around 10-14 knots).

Check out the COAMPS for both days’ dawn patrols.



I think that top sandbars are going to be the call this weekend...the combo swell usually works pretty good at the beach breaks but the shorter period windswell needs a little help standing up, a bathometric Viagra if you will, so some extra sand will work a little better. The points/reefs could be fun too just don’t expect long sections, it will be a bit broken up. San Diego is going to have the most size throughout SoCal...but most areas should have some spots working so it won’t be worth driving very far. Overall I think we can have some fun if we hit it early, and just appreciate that conditions are total poop anymore.

Here are the tides...have a good weekend!

05:33AM LDT 4.7 H
12:50PM LDT -0.5 L
07:21PM LDT 4.1 H

12:56AM LDT 1.5 L
06:39AM LDT 4.9 H
01:31PM LDT -0.5 L
07:50PM LDT 4.6 H


Anonymous said...

light offshore, my ass! what happened?

Anonymous said...

was slight offshore where i was sitting.

Anonymous said...

was pretty hard-core offshore in south San Diego today. I got to my local beachbreak at around 7:00am and it was a good 12-15mph. made for 5 second rain showers out the back after each set wave; i love that mystical feeling of being sprayed by strong offshores though.

Anonymous said...

Adam, can you explain how everyone missed forecasting the south swell that hit today? (April 5)

I can't tell you how many people I spoke to in the water who had the same story: mosey on down to the beach not really expecting anything, only to be confronted with raging 6-8'+ lefts ripping up the beach.

The parking lot was a mad scramble to see just how fast everyone could put on their wetsuits. Crazy epic out there.

Of course, they had a contest (don't they always), so the water was packed on the other side. Still, not everyday you get world-class conditions like that.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's true. This morning was amazing! But I, too, was practically shoulder-to-shoulder in the lineup. Barrels galore though. Saw a guy drop in on a monster, wipeout hard, and get his face all fin slashed; it was nasty. Off to the hospital he went.

Adam Wright said...

Yeah this S-SW swell has a lot more juice than I was isn't really a huge swell from a total "energy" perspective but it does have a good angle, and a lot of windswell leftover to combo.

I was looking at the storm that sent the swell and the system was traveling SE through our swell window, which is never really a good thing. Usually any swell that is sent out from a storm like that is sort of like throwing a baseball backwards out of a car doesn't have a lot of pepper to it.

In this case it looks like the pressure model, and the swell model, undercalled the wind speeds and overcalled the rate of movement of the fetch...which translated into a better looking swell than we techically 'should have had'.

Anyways I am always bummed when the forecast isn't 100% but I am stoked that a few of you scored...and then sad again that someone almost carved his face off. Thanks for the update everyone!