Thursday, September 24, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 9/24/2009

Forecast Overview

Fall fun-time continues as we see a mix of overlapping NW and S-SW swells as we head into the weekend. A bigger NW swell (as well as more S-SSW swell) move in mostly on Sunday and help hold more fun-sized surf into early next week. Expect clean morning conditions and mostly light winds over the next few days.

Short Range (next 3 days now with a 4th day free!)

Our swell mix bumps up a bit on Friday as we see some more SSW-SW swell (190-210) pushing in from the South Pacific, NW energy holds, and we see a touch of tropical energy from TS Nora. Wave heights will be in the waist-chest high range for most S-exposed spots and the ok combo breaks. Standout S facing spots, mostly through Orange County and parts of North San Diego (and North LA), will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range. Best waves push through in the morning with the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Conditions look clean for the morning with mostly light/variable to light offshore flow. Look for W-WNW winds around 10-12 knots for the afternoon.

Our surf will be more consistent as we see the blend of S-SW swells (190-210) start to peak, NW windswell continues to hold, and new longer-period NW swell (290-300) starts to slowly fill in through the afternoon. Look for most breaks to continue to hold around waist-chest high but with more consistent sets showing throughout the day. Standout S-SW facing breaks, as well as the excellent combo spots, will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets. Winds/Weather: Clean conditions continue…mostly light and variable/light-offshore for the morning. WNW winds around 10-12 knots move in through the afternoon.

The NW swell (290-300) peaks while the S-SW swell (180-210) mix starts to drop off. Not a ton of difference in overall wave heights…but we will have slightly different top breaks. Look for average S-facing spots to hold around knee-chest high. Standout NW facing spots and good NW/SW combo breaks will be in the chest-shoulder high range on sets…with a couple of bigger waves mixing in at times. Winds/Weather: Winds continue to look good…mostly light and variable to even light offshore for the morning…and just moderate NW winds (10-12 knots) by the afternoon.

The trailing parts of the NW swell (290-300) will continue to push through while we see some leftover, but still fun S-SW swell (190-210) mixing in as well. Look for more knee-chest high typy surf at the average exposed spots with some chest-shoulder high sets at the top NW facing breaks and the best NW/SW combo spots. Winds/Weather: Conditions continue to look nice…light and variable to even light offshore for the morning…and just moderate NW winds (10-12 knots) by the afternoon.


North Pacific
We have had a decent run of storm activity pushing across the NPAC over the last few days. A couple of fast moving, higher-latitude low-pressures that came through early in the week managed to send out some playful, but mostly steeply angled NW energy (290-300) that started to hit on Thursday. Fortunately a following storm moved in and set up some more fetch after that initial pulse…so it looks like the waist-chest high+ NW’er will hold into Friday and Saturday.

As we move through the weekend a new, stronger, NW swell (290-300) will start to push some in some long-period energy in late on 26th...fill in more on the 27th, eventually peaking the afternoon of the 27th into the morning of the 28th. At this point it looks like we are going to get waist-chest high sized surf at the average NW facing NW breaks, mostly in San Diego and Ventura, will see chest-shoulder high+ sets. The angle on this energy looks pretty steep…so there will probably be a fair amount of shadowing…so don’t expect a ton of size or consistency outside of the better NW/Winter regions.

Further out it looks like the later elements of the storm that will send us the NW’er for Sunday managed to keep some fetch aimed our way…and even managed to position it a little better than the first shot of swell…so I am expecting the NW’er to hold through the middle of next week and continue to send in fun sized surf. The swell angle looks like it will shift a bit more westerly…more (285-300)…which means more spots will be able to pull in waves from this portion of the swell. Look for more waist-chest high+ surf showing at the top WNW-NW spots through the 30th before it starts to fade out.

South Pacific
Fun pulses of S-SW swell will continue to push into SoCal over the next few days…with a couple of them mixing together nicely over the weekend setting up chest-shoulder high surf at the better exposed spots.

Further out a new storm is pulling together SE of New Zealand that will be sending out new S-SSW (180-205) for the beginning of October. At this point it looks like we will start to see new long-period energy from this one showing around October 3rd…likely peaking on the 4-5th. It looks good for waist-shoulder high surf at most spots, and has the potential for some head high sets at the standout breaks as it peaks. This storm still has a couple of days to we should have a better grasp on wave-heights/arrival times by early next week.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Tropical Storm Nora is still holding together down in the tropics…she isn’t super impressive but she will managed to send in some background tropical swell through Friday and Saturday. It won’t be much, but it will likely help to fill in the more dominant S-SW swell coming in from the SPAC.

It looks like TS Nora will fall apart over the next day or so…looks like she will have dropped back to a remnant low by the weekend.

Further East there are a few large sections of thunderstorms near Central America that are worth keeping an eye on…but at this point it looks likes any development will be slow.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, September 28, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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