Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – A bit more combo

Wednesday looks like another surf day.

We are going to have a mix of a building S swell (170-180), some holding SW energy (200-220), and steady NW windswell.

The S swell is going to be a little on the steep side for a few spots...it will definitely be a more southerly, than SW’erly sort of swell...so if you plan on getting waves from it try and stick to spots that face true south and pull in the 170-180 direction. You can see the new swell starting to slowly blip up on the Oceanside Buoy this afternoon.

Wave heights are going to continue to run in the waist-chest high range for most of the average spots, which are breaks that have some partial exposure to the Southern Hemi swells, or really good exposure to the NW windswell. Top S facing spots, and excellent combo spots, will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some occasionally bigger sets on the lower tides.

Winds look ok...there is still a touch of variable eddy funk that sort of swirls up through the morning. San Diego and OC look like they might see some of it at times, but overall it shouldn’t be too bad. NW winds around 10-15 knots move in through the afternoon.

I think that we are going to see a few fun waves tomorrow...again nothing huge, or even all that consistent...just sort of playful on the set waves. The biggest surf will be in Orange County area, as well as a couple of the better exposed spots in North SD and North LA. I don’t think you should waste a lot of the $3.00-a-gallon (liquid gold that we have to pour into our vehicles) driving for surf...there should be plenty of rideable waves almost everywhere exposed to the swell mix. I would try and get on it early before the tides honk it up...if you end up paddling out a little later in the day bring a board that can handle a bit more water.

Here are the tides...

05:29AM LDT -1.6 L
11:57AM LDT 3.9 H
04:48PM LDT 1.9 L
10:51PM LDT 6.4 H


Anonymous said...

Parliment - touch of funk - due that is some funny s$%t - thanks for the laugh. This has been a crap week for more reasons than one.

Anonymous said...

Novice question:

So when the 18/22 second interval "lines" on the buoy chart you displayed line up with each other, that means good things?

Chris Surf Blog said...

Greate Forcasts. Would be cool if you would have a gadget to embed.


Dan said...

Hey Adam - thanks for the great forecasts! I have a question about El Nino and it's potential impacts on surf for us during the summer months? -thanks, Dan

Adam Wright said...

Novice Question...The 18/22 second periods that I circled on the O-side buoy image...it isn't so much that they line up together. It is more about how much "energy" is coming in at those swell periods and from what direction.

On those Scripps Buoys they will generally "average" the direction in compass degrees...so if you had similar 18-second swells, one coming in from the SW @ 220 and another S @ 180...then the buoy would line up that energy at 200-degrees. They will give added weight to the dominate direction if a swell is bigger than others at the period band. It is a little obnoxious that it doesn't display a pure swell all by itself, but it still provides a decent look at the current activity, close enough for government work I guess.

Generally a bigger swell will have energy showing across mutiple period bands, particularly after the swell has really filled in and started to peak. So when that happens you will see all of those different colors start to "line-up" along the dominate direction.

I guess the simple answer is yeah it usually means good things, but you always want to look at info along with data from a perdictive swell model, and super awesome manually created surf forecasts like mine. (Ha I am a jackass...trust me I know it already)

Anyway hope that makes sense and helps a little.

Adam Wright said...


Thanks for the props!

I have a RSS feed burned for this site...you should be able to get a feedreader gadet to pull in the info.

Hopefully (soon) in the future I will have a custom widget that we can put all over the interweb.

Adam Wright said...


Did you have a more specific question on the effects of El Nino?

From a basic surf standpoint...it sort of depends on which type/direction of swell you are looking at.

El Nino basically piles up a bunch of warm water along the equitorial pacific, but in places where it normally doesn't pile up...namely back against Central America (and North and South America too). This warm water is basically a giant storage battery for latent heat energy. All of our weather is caused by the earth trying to transfer/distribute that energy and achieve some sort of balance (of course the rotation of the earth plays an important part too)....Whoa sorry sort of trailed off there.

Anyway when you move that energy into a different place you end up affecting everything. Generally during el nino years we see stronger, and better positioned tropical storms and hurricanes. We also see some stronger, and wetter, NPAC winter storms. It doesn't affect the South Pacific as much...but there can be some intensification in systems that develop closer to the EPAC tropics...like that S swell that we had hit on the 15th.

For this summer, since the el nino is sort of mild, I expect that we will have some warmer water along our coasts, and a slightly more active tropical season with a better than average chance of getting hurricane swells. If the el nino continues into the Fall I would look for some early W-WNW swells and some early rain/weather as well.

Hopefully that makes some sense and answers your questions.

deckmanx said...

Micro surf in Oside this morning

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and another question about the wave bands, what (generally) is a good number of power to look for in the 18+ second bands? Since they usually always seem to have the lowest "power" by whatever unit the model uses especially compared to the lower periods.