Friday, August 14, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 8/14/2009

Forecast Overview
New tropical SSE-SSW swell moves in from Hurricane Guillermo over the weekend while weak SW swell and minor NW windswell hang in the background. Nothing all that big showing over the next few days but at least we will have some waves to ride.

Short Range (next 3 days)

Tropical S-SSW swell from Guillermo will start off in the waist-chest high range but it will fill in more through midday/afternoon...eventually building wave heights into the chest-shoulder high range at the average S facing spots with some head high sets at the standouts. SW swell (210-220) and NW windswell keep the lesser exposed spots from being totally flat but expect smaller surf at spots just exposed to those swells. Biggest surf will be in the OC, Northern San Diego, and Northern LA areas. Winds/Weather: slight eddy conditions on Saturday. Look for variable/Southerly winds around 2-4 knots for the morning as well as overcast skies. Sunnier skies and building WNW flow (10-12 knots) moves in through the afternoon.

The tropical SSW swell (180-195) from Guillermo will continue to push in waist-shoulder high waves for most S facing spots. Standout S facing breaks and the excellent combo spots will see some chest-shoulder high surf with some less consistent head high sets. Look for this swell to drop slowly throughout the day. Winds/Weather: Clean morning conditions with light and variable winds on tap for most areas. Overcast skies continue through the early part of the day. WNW winds 10-12+ knots move in through the afternoon.

Fading tropical SSW swell (185-200) and weak leftovers from the Southern Hemi will mix up knee-waist high surf for the average exposed spots. Standout S facing spots will see surf in the waist-chest high range. Winds/Weather: the early morning looks ok...but there may be a touch of onshore texture at the more exposed spots as light W-WSW winds move through the area. Look for building onshore winds throughout the day.


North Pacific
Still not much going on in the NPAC...but there are some ok signs that the summer pattern is starting to break down. Hopefully we will see the storm track crack open in a few weeks and start kicking up some combo swell.

South Pacific
Things are looking up in the SPAC...there is a considerable amount of new storm activity showing on the forecast run...granted some of this is still a few days from forming but it has been a pretty consistent feature on the models, which usually gives it a better chance of actually occurring. For the short term our surf from the Southern Hemi is going to remain on the small side. We have a small, shadowed pulse of SW swell (210-220) that limps through Friday before dropping slowly through this weekend. Further out this is where the forecast gets more interesting...we have a strong low that is hanging just off Antarctic SE of New Zealand. This storm had some strong winds (40-50 knots) and is generating some large sea-state (the combo of swell and wind-chop that the storm brews up as its winds blow across the ocean’s surface). Just based on this first portion of the storm we can expect some new SW swell (200-210) moving in on Friday August 21 and then peaking on the weekend of the 22-23rd. This one looks good for chest-shoulder high waves at the decent SW facing spots, the standouts will see some inconsistent head high sets. It gets better the forecast is calling for a bunch of tropical/sub-tropical lows to dive bomb this already intense storm as it moves off Antarctica and deeper into our S-SSW swell window. Check it out...

As this mixing starts to occur it looks like we are going to see a stronger storm that is both closer to Socal and in a much more open portion of the swell window. This still has several days to develop but at this point it looks like a decent S-SSW swell lining up around the 25-26th...probably with overhead surf at the top spots. Like I said...this one isn’t set in stone yet...but personally I am going to make sure that I don’t schedule any meetings during those days.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
This region has been pretty active lately...we had named storms Enrique and Felicia last week...and now we have Hurricane Guillermo. Guillermo isn’t the strongest storm we have seen but he is well positioned and has made a lot of his intensification while he has been inside our swell window...all of which is good for producing tropical swell.

We are starting to see some S-SSE swell from Guillermo here on Friday and I expect this to strengthen overnight, peaking through Saturday and Sunday. Make sure to check the short-range portion for details on swell directions and wave heights.

Elsewhere in the is a little quiet right now...there is a tropical disturbance waaaaay over by far that the EPAC department of the NHC is about to turn it over to the Central no waves for us from that one. There are a couple of big thunderstorm bands just south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec but any development down there is going to be slow.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, August 17, 2009

- Adam Wright


Joe B said...


I am glad that I stumbled accross your blog (google search for long range forecast)...I find it much more in depth and interesting to read than the other stock web forecast sites. Keep up the good work, and thanks for keeping my stoke up by reading the long range forecast...Its great to learn about how the swells are generated, and track towards us.

Much appreciated,


MyBallsYourChin said...

wetsand has a different forecast for tomorrow. Says there will be NW swell without any S action. Whos lying?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Adam for your continued excellence and easily understood forecasting. So is it safe to assume Costa will kick ass next week? Whoo hoo!