Friday, October 30, 2009

Waves for the weekend – on the weak side

Saturday and Sunday will both be clean and small but the combo of high tides and general lack of waves will keep it from being very surfy.

Not much surf on tap this weekend…just minor pulses of NW (290-300), some SW (200-220) leftovers as well as a tiny touch of windswell.

Saturday Morning Swell

Sunday Morning Swell

Average spots that can pick up some of the swell mix are going to hang in the knee high range through the weekend with a few rare waist high sets sneaking through on the lower tides.

Standout NW facing spots and the good NW/SW combo breaks will be more consistently in the knee-waist high range…again with a couple of waist-high+ sets on the lower tides.

Overall we can expect shape to be soft, slow, and close to shore at the best of times. When the high tides peak many spots will be almost completely unrideable…turning into mostly shorebreak lappers… so you are going to want to avoid them if you can…if not, well try and stick to spots that can handle a lot of extra water (particularly in the morning).

Winds look ok for the next couple of days…sort of light/variable to light offshore in the mornings, with a touch more onshore texture on Saturday morning. Afternoon winds stay on the moderate side…right in the NW 10-14 knot range.

Saturday Morning Winds

Sunday Morning Winds

I wish we had more surf coming through this weekend…it is a shame to have nice conditions without much to ride. It won’t be completely flat if you can stay away from the high tides…but definitely plan on bringing your small wave gear…longboards will probably be best if you weigh over 100-lbs.

Here are the tides…gave a good weekend and a great Halloween! (Oh and the time change is this weekend...make sure to change your clocks).

01:45AM LDT 1.2 L
07:52AM LDT 5.6 H
02:41PM LDT 0.3 L
08:38PM LDT 4.2 H

01:11AM LST 1.4 L
07:17AM LST 5.9 H
02:16PM LST -0.2 L
08:20PM LST 4.1 H

Transworld Surf Forecast – Solid swell for Hawaii and NorCal…Socal gets left out.

My latest forecast overview is up over on transworldSURF…and since Socal is going to be pretty darn small this weekend I took a broader look at the Pacific.

Hawaii was starting to look really good as a new swell filled in last night…I saw some legit looking sets coming in on the Pipeline cams…and only about 60 guys on the shoulder. Anyway…Hawaii is going to get another round of swell on Halloween and should stay large all the way into the middle of next week…so if you are jonesing to watch some big waves (or ride them) you might want to let your attention wander out that way.

For more details check out the TransworldSurf website…

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Surf for Friday – Swamptacular!

Friday will be a nice beach day (once it warms up)…but there isn’t going to be much surf.

We will have a mix of quickly fading short-period NW energy and some stubborn (and small) SW swell (200-220) that is holding in the background. Expect the NW swell to continue to drop off as we move through the day.

Unfortunately the dawn patrol is going to get whacked with a 5’+ high tide that will peak right around 7:30am, which is going to steamroll the surf at most breaks. Once the tide starts dropping we will have a little surf sneak through setting up some knee-knee high+ waves at the average exposed spots…and maybe a little waist high set on the breaks that handle the higher tides a little better. The standout NW facing spots, mostly through Southern SD, Southern Ventura, and parts of the South Bay, will have a little more size…more in the knee-waist high range on the average sets and then a couple waist-chest high waves on the biggest sets. Remember to watch the tide…even the top spots are going to flatten out as it peaks.

Winds look good tomorrow (of course we don’t have surf so they don’t need to mess with us)…look for light-offshore for most beaches and some slightly stronger offshore gusts at the usual wind-prone passes and canyons. Winds stay light for the afternoon…just coming onshore around 5-10 knots later in the day.

So for tomorrow…I would probably stay in bed. It will be butt-cold again tomorrow morning and the water temps have dropped down into the upper 50’s in some areas…to top it off the weak swell mix will be burgered out with the peaking tide…so there won’t even be much to paddle for that could help keep you warm. Personally I am going to take it easy in the morning…maybe go on donut patrol…wait for the air to warm up and the tide to drop. Hopefully the tide will drain enough to set up a few longboard peaks before the wind starts to tweak it too much.

Here are the tides…

01:19AM LDT 1.1 L
07:31AM LDT 5.2 H
02:07PM LDT 0.9 L
07:56PM LDT 4.2 H

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/29/2009

Forecast Overview

Mostly leftovers on tap for the next few days…the weather will be nice, but there won’t be much to ride. Look for small, tide swamped surf over the weekend and slight increase in NW swell (290-300) as we move into early next week. Long-range charts are showing some better activity…but the storms are still several days from forming.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Wave heights will be on the way down on Friday…the last of our NW windswell mix (290-300) will be dropping off leaving us with some very minor (and inconsistent) SW swell (200-220). Wave heights are going to hold around knee high for the average NW-combo exposed breaks. There may be a few waist high sets sneaking into the “average” spots…but the morning tide is going to shut it almost completely down. The top NW facing spots…mostly through Southern San Diego and Southern Ventura…will be more consistently in the knee-waist high range with some rare chest waves on the biggest sets. Winds/Weather: Of course now that the surf has dropped our weather improves. Friday will be a pretty nice day…sunny skies and light/moderate offshore winds for most spots in the morning. Mostly light WNW-W winds in the 8-10 knot range push onshore through the afternoon.

The small surf will continue as we slog through a weak mix of leftover NW windswell and some inconsistent background pulses of SW energy (190-220)…basically just enough juice to keep it from going completely flat (though it will feel completely flat thanks to a 5’ high tide that hits right around 7-8am). Most spots will continue to see knee high surf with some very inconsistent waist high sets. Standout combo spots will be more consistently around knee-waist high…with a couple of rare waist-high+ sets on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Clean again on Saturday…mostly light and variable to light offshore in the morning and only weak onshore flow building out of the W (5-8 knots) for the afternoon.

Ugh…the near flatness continues…do I really have to write this again? Oh ok….it won’t be totally flat but the lovely 6’ high tide in the morning is going to swampthing us for sure…(Slimy! Mud hole! My home this is!). Look for more knee high wavelets from the leftover NW/SW energy (and a slight little increase in inconsistent SW swell). The top spots hold around knee-waist high+ but have issues with the tides…just like everywhere else. Winds/Weather: Clear skies, light winds, clean conditions. Winds will be light/variable through the morning and then turn NW around 10-12 knots during the afternoon.

We finally start to see an increase in size…unfortunately it is from a NW swell with some pretty steep swell angles (295-300) that managed to push all the way across the North Pacific without much support. Look for the average spots to continue to hold around knee-waist high. Standout NW facing spots will see some better knee-chest high surf, while a few of the spots that really like long-period NW swells see some more consistent waist-chest high+ sets. Winds/Weather: More of the same…mostly light and variable winds through the morning and then building NW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon.


North Pacific
Thanks to a pretty solid ridge of high-pressure holding sway over most of the NE Pacific we haven’t see much storm activity moving through the good parts of our swell window, which means…ah you guessed it…that we don’t have much swell on tap from this region right now.

Basically the only swell producing storm that managed to pull together was a very intense (but very far away) extra-tropical typhoon over by the Kamchatka Peninsula (go ahead and google it…I can wait). This storm did put together some 50-60+ knot winds as it tore through the waters NE of Japan but it was right on the edge of our swell window and moved north at a semi-oblique angle before it started coming apart just South of the Bering Sea. It did manage to get off a shot of NW swell heading our way but most of the energy is aimed at spots North of Point Conception and the combination of swell decay and shadowing once it finally gets to SoCal isn’t going to help either.

Further Out we don’t have anything set in stone…but I am starting to see some storm action waaay out on the charts. If it pulls together, we would be looking at new WNW-NW swell heading our way for the 6-8th of November.

South Pacific
Still not much happening in this region so the forecast hasn’t changed from earlier this week. Basically high-pressure is blocking the Southern Hemi sweet spot and it isn’t forecast to go anywhere anytime soon, which means that any swell that we get will be sort of around the edges of that blocking-high. There are a couple of storms drifting sort of aimlessly around New Zealand, and over by South America, but neither look particularly good. At this point I am not seeing anything that I would call a “significant” swell…just a couple of weaker background pulses that will push in over the next week or so.

The next, slightly better, S-SSW pulse (190-200) arrives around the 30th….likely in the waist high surf for most spots. Even further out there is a little storm over by New Zealand that will send us an inconsistent waist-chest high SW swell (210-220) for around the 8-9th of November.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
We have a little tropical disturbance down off the coast of Mainland Mexico but it doesn’t look very organized at this point…any development will take a few days…if it happens at all.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Surf for Thursday – Much cleaner but fading fast

I don’t think I am going to call Thursday a “surf day”…yes it will be rideable, and conditions will be a lot cleaner than Wednesday, but the windswell is going to drop fast and the higher morning tide isn’t going to do us any favors.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of quickly dropping NW windswell (285-300 with most of the energy around 295-300) and some background SW swell (200-220) crawling in from the Southern Hemisphere.

The average exposed spots…the breaks that have some exposure to the windswell mix…will be in the waist-chest high range through the morning. The standout NW facing spots, mostly the well exposed areas of Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego, will be in the waist-shoulder high range with still a few plus sets trying to power through the morning high tide. Since the swell is fading, look for the bigger waves to become less and less consistent as we move through into the afternoon.

Winds look much better for tomorrow…the fast moving cold front that spun up the winds for Wednesday is moving out of the area and high-pressure will build in its wake helping to set up some morning offshore winds. All areas can expect N-NE winds in the 5-10 knot range for tomorrow morning. The Santa Barbara, Ventura, and North LA areas may see some stronger gusts near passes and canyons. The winds will turn onshore out of the NW in the afternoon but should stay on the light side…right around 10-12 knots for most areas.

The windswell spots will definitely be the call tomorrow...the more NW exposure they have the better. Unfortunately the windswell doesn’t have a lot of kick to it…so even the top spots, which have some decent size, will be on the soft/rolly side. Your best bet is to find an exposed spot that likes both the shorter swell periods and the higher tides…preferably one that has a nice shallow sandbar for the windswell to throw itself over. Boardwise I personally think that a smaller/thicker board might be a good call…just so you can power through the mushy soft spots that you find in swells like these.

Here are the tides…

12:52AM LDT 1.0 L
07:11AM LDT 4.8 H
01:34PM LDT 1.4 L
07:14PM LDT 4.2 H

I am sure you noticed…but I am making a few changes to the layout of the blog (it is a little bit wider and is has new header!)…let me know what you think about the new set up. Also…now that I have some better ad-placements if any of you are interested in advertising on the site please drop me an email and we can go over the details. – Thanks! AW

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – Cleaning up…but expect some lingering bump

Wednesday looks rideable…but we need our local winds to get their poop together in order for conditions to improve. I definitely think there will be some pockets of surfy-ness tomorrow…but “where” and “for how long” will depend a lot on how winds behave tonight.

NW windswell has been building through the outer waters all day today…unfortunately most of the energy is coming in at a very steep swell-angle, above 300-degrees, which means SoCal is seeing a lot of shadowing from Point Conception (and the Channel islands). It also doesn’t help that the swell’s periods are so short, around 6-10 seconds. At those periods the energy doesn’t really wrap…so if you aren’t directly exposed to the swell direction it will basically march right on past your spot. Check out the buoys from this afternoon (yes you are reading it right…the Harvest Buoy is holding around 17-feet…unfortunately most of its energy is getting blocked.

Here is the forecast for tomorrow morning…

As you can see on the CDIP forecast above…the majority of the energy is heading towards San Diego, with a couple of tendrils sneaking into Ventura, the South Bay, and some smaller leakage around OC/North SD.

Wave heights for tomorrow are going to be in the waist-chest high range at the “average” NW windswell spots. The better NW facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some bigger sets mixing in. The top San Diego windswell spots, mostly from La Jolla southward, will be running consistently in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead+ sets showing through the morning and then becoming less consistent by the afternoon.

Winds are really what is going to make or break the surf tomorrow. The forecast is calling for winds to start shifting from the NW to N/NNE as we move through the day tomorrow…but it is a little unclear how soon that shift will start. At this point, considering that the air-temps are dropping fast (and will just get colder tonight), I think that the shift is going to happened sooner rather than later…and that we might even see N-NNE winds for the dawn patrol tomorrow morning. The COAMPS model is sort of saying the same thing…

It still has a lot of N-NNW winds in the outer waters…but the coastal flow is getting routed through the passes and canyons and has more of a northerly tint to it. Here I zoomed in on the COAMPS winds for each region…

Santa Barbara and Ventura

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego

Based on this forecast it looks like the cleanest conditions will set up around North LA and Orange County…but with some side offshore winds in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego. Hopefully we will see more of a general offshore than this model is calling for…I am not holding my breath for that though.

For the morning…I think that you are going to want to check the various live wind stations and surf cams before driving very far to check the surf, if the wind doesn’t switch fast enough it may still be pretty ugly. If you live close to the beach, particularly near a good windswell spot, I would plan on at least giving it a drive-by if the winds don’t seem too bad.

Conditions will definitely improve more on Thursday but the windswell will be dropping off fast…lets cross our fingers that we can get a fast cleanup on tomorrow and take advantage of the swell.

Here are the tides…let me know if you find a few fun ones tomorrow.

12:22AM LDT 0.9 L
06:54AM LDT 4.5 H
12:59PM LDT 2.0 L
06:28PM LDT 4.1 H

Transworld Surf Forecast – Chunky windswell and some offshore winds

My new forecast for Transworld Surf was posted this morning…it covers the North Pacific in a little more detail this week since we have a couple of new storms are starting to mix together over by Japan that will likely set up a decent sized NW swell for Northern and Central California. SoCal will get a small shot of this new energy as well…but a much smaller version compared to spots North of Point Conception.

Check it out when you get a chance…

Monday, October 26, 2009

Surf for Tuesday – Small and sort of sloppy

Tuesday won’t be a surf day…building onshore winds and mostly small morning swell will be a good reason to stay in bed.

We are going to see a mix of mostly leftover WNW and SW energy through Tuesday morning…just background energy still hanging on from the weekend. We will have building NW windswell starting to increase wave heights throughout the day but the NW winds are coming right along with it.

Wave heights are going to be mostly knee high at the average spots through the morning. The standout NW facing breaks will be more in the waist-chest high range on inconsistent sets. The top NW-WNW facing spots will start to see an increase in short-period windswell by the afternoon that will push size more into the chest high+ range with a few shoulder high sets coming through before dark.

Winds look pretty lame tomorrow…strong onshore flow is expected for most of the morning in the Santa Barbara and Ventura areas. Some of the models are showing a slight eddy spin setting up shop around Long Beach…possibly helping to both lighten wind speeds and bend winds back around to the S-SW for San Diego, Orange County, and the South Bay. Check out the COAMPS forecast for the morning.

You can see the eddy spin pretty clearly defined…just south of Long Beach Harbor. I am not sure how realistic this forecast is…but if it can pull together this way we could see pretty manageable winds for the South Bay, North OC, and then more S-SW’erly flow through San Diego (which a couple spots can handle down that way).

So for tomorrow…don’t be in a hurry to get down to the beach…even if the winds are lighter than the current forecast says they will be, we still won’t have any significant swell…and in my experience there isn’t much of a difference between bumpy/flat and smooth/flat. Personally I am going to cross my fingers that we get a lot of windswell spun up on Tuesday so that it can power enough rideable energy into Wednesday when conditions start to clean up,

Here are the tides…

06:36AM LDT 4.1 H
12:20PM LDT 2.5 L
05:34PM LDT 4.0 H

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/26/2009

Forecast Overview

Building NW windswell (and increasing onshore winds) will push through on Tuesday and then fade on Wednesday as conditions clean up and winds shift more offshore. Small leftover WNW and SW swells will continue to hold in the background throughout the week. Looks like more offshore winds, and mostly smaller surf, on tap for the second half of the week.

Short Range (next 3 days)

Local windswell will drive in new waves on Tuesday but it looks like conditions will fall apart as well. Swellwise we are going to have a mix of new NW windswell (290-300), fading WNW energy still leftover from the weekend, and some trace Southern Hemi SW swell. The average spots are going to hold in the knee-waist high range, particularly through the morning when the conditions are the cleanest. The standout NW facing spots, mostly in Ventura, San Diego, and a few select spots in the South Bay, will start off around waist-chest high on the bigger sets…but expect size to increase throughout the day…likely hitting the head high range by the end of the day. Winds/Weather: We see some strong winds develop in the outer waters that will be strengthening as they hook southward past Point Conception. Looks like variable onshore flow for most areas in the morning. Winds pick up out of the NW-NNW in the 10-20 knot range by the afternoon…probably stronger by the evening.

Looks like Wednesday is going to be the best “surf day” of the week…the gusty winds from Tuesday will shift around to the N-NE and turn offshore for many areas. The WNW-NW windswell will be fading fast through the day but there should be enough still showing that we can take advantage of the improving conditions. Besides the windswell we will only have a smaller mix of WNW/SW leftovers…so hopefully the windswell won’t drop out too fast. At this point it looks like the average spots will continue to run around waist high but with a couple of chest high sets. Standout NW facing breaks, again in San Diego, the South Bay, and Ventura, will hold around chest high but with some shoulder high+ sets at the really good windswell spots. Winds/Weather: N winds around 10-20 knots for the morning…lighter in the OC and San Diego areas....and stronger around Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The conditions improve even more but the swell is going to back waaaaay off. Look for NW windswell leftovers mixing with a touch of WNW/SW background swell. Average spots will drop to about knee high with some rare knee high sets. Standout NW facing spots will be consistently around waist high and see a few chest high sets on the really good sandbars. Winds/Weather: N-NE winds 10-15 knots will be on tap for most of the morning. Look for the winds to back down and turn slightly onshore for the afternoon…sort of NW in the 10-12 knot range.


North Pacific
The short-range portion of the NPAC forecast is a bit of a snooze-fest. Sure we will get a few windswell waves thanks to increasing local winds in our outer waters but we won’t be seeing much long-period swell over the next few days.

Here are the winds setting up NW windswell that will push through and peak late Tuesday evening…

I used a larger-scale COAMPS chart than we normally look at so you could see how the winds are primarily pushing North-to-South parallel along the Northern/Central California coast. Eventually those winds do wrap a little more WNW’erly as it clears Point Conception, but it won’t have the same “punch” as it would if the fetch was more cleanly inside of our swell window. Size and shape for the windswell are going to depend a lot on how these winds actually develop.

Further Out the longer-range charts are bit better looking. There is an intense extra-tropical storm forming over in the West Pacific that is expected to drive NE over the Aleutians and feed a bunch of energy into the storm track…possibly helping out a better positioned storm just north of Hawaii. If, these two storms can mix correctly we would see a new, decent-sized WNW-NW swell that would arrive around Nov 1st. I wouldn’t get too fired up on this one just yet…it has several days to develop before it actually sends out swell, but a least we aren’t just hearing crickets chirping in the long-range forecast.

South Pacific
Zzzzzzzzz…oh sorry dozed off there for a moment…the SPAC is looking pretty boring right now. There are a couple of storms drifting sort of aimlessly around New Zealand, and over by South America, but neither look particularly good. At this point I am not seeing anything that I would call a “significant” swell…just a couple of weaker background pulses that will push in over the next week or so.

The next, slightly better, S-SSW pulse (190-200) arrives around the 30th….likely in the waist high surf for most spots. Even further out there is a little storm over by New Zealand that will send us an inconsistent waist-chest high SW swell (210-220) for around the 8-9th of November.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Not much happening in this region right now…the end of the “official” hurricane season is fast approaching and it doesn’t look like we are going to get much more activity before the end of the season.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Waves for Monday – fading but a few fun ones still hanging in there

Monday looks rideable…our morning conditions will clean, most of the weekend crowd will be gone…but the fading swell mix, and still sort-of swampy tidal swings will keep it from really getting all that good.

In the water we have a mix of overlapping WNW-NW swells (285-300 both of which are slowly fading), some background SSW swell (190-220), and a touch of local windswell.

The average WNW facing spots and the ok combo spots can expect surf in the waist high range with some chest high+ sets occasionally slipping through. The standout NW facing spots, like those in Southern Ventura and the better exposed areas in San Diego county, will see more consistent waist-chest high surf but with some shoulder high (and maybe slightly bigger) sets rolling through on the lower tide.

Winds look good tomorrow…mostly light and variable to light/moderate offshore winds will help keep things clean through the morning. Look for building onshore winds by the afternoon…hitting in the NW 10-15 knot range later in the day.

Overall I think tomorrow will be rideable, but not all that exciting. The swell mix will be backing off and the morning tides are a little swampy (though not as bad as the 6’ highs we had last week)…and so our surf is going to be a bit soft in the morning. I would plan on bringing your smaller wave gear…or at least boards that can help you power through the morning softies. Personally I am going to hunt around the local beachbreak/sandbars and see if I can find a shallow sandbar that is handling the tide.

Here are the tides…have a good week!

06:19AM LDT 3.8 H
11:26AM LDT 3.1 L
04:24PM LDT 4.0 H
11:45PM LDT 0.9 L

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Surf Photos – More Fall Love

Hey gang…here are a few more photos submitted by you guys…all of them were taken over the last week.

Here is a Malibu section from last Tuesday (10/20)

Here is a shot of a LA County beach break sent in by Jeph Yusa over at the Liquidplayground Blog (Give his blog a check when you get a chance…he has some great photos). This was taken on Wednesday (10/21)

These last two are from Ventura this morning (10/24)

Feel free to send over a few more if you guys have some good ones. We (heart) surf photos.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – Slowly fading swell mix

Saturday and Sunday both look like surf days…but we can expect slowly fading sizes and consistency as both the WNW and SW swells back down.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of overlapping WNW swells (290-300 with some burps of energy a little lower in angle…sort of 285-300) and some fading SW swell (200-220)

Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning

Wave heights are going to hold in the waist-chest high range at the average breaks while the better exposed NW facing spots, (with good exposure to swells over the 290-degree range), see more consistent waist-shoulder high+ sizes. The top breaks, both the top NW and the combo spots, will have chest-shoulder high sets…with some head high peaks still sneaking through. Sunday looks little bit more consistent as a new WNW-NW moves in to prop up the first swell.

Winds look good…mostly light and variable for Saturday morning and then a touch more offshore on Sunday. It doesn’t look as clean through the afternoons…NW winds will be on tap around the 10-14 knot range for both days. Expect some fog/overcast skies through the morning and then clearing skies as it burns off in the afternoon.

So for the weekend it will be worth getting out and catching a few…it won’t be outstanding…but it will be fun. The best shape will continue to show at the NW facing points and reefs. The combo beach breaks will be a little less fun as the SW swell fades out but may be worth checking if you are over the crowd at the points or just need a little lefthanded shoulder now and then.

Oh and I was just checking out the really long-range charts…and it looks like we might have some legit Santa Ana conditions developing around the middle of next week…maybe even a little swell too. It is still a few days from actually developing but I will definitely keep you guys posted as it does. Don't know about you guys but I love me some Santa Anas (well when the world doesn't burn down).

Here are the tides…have a great weekend!

01:08PM LDT 4.4 H
09:52PM LDT 0.9 L

06:00AM LDT 3.6 H
09:37AM LDT 3.5 L
02:47PM LDT 4.0 H
10:57PM LDT 0.9 L

Transworld Surf Forecast – Solid swell on tap for the West Coast

Hey gang…just wanted to let you know that my latest West Coast forecast has been posted over on transworld…again it is pretty similar to the long-range stuff I put up on this site but I do put in a lot more detail for Northern and Central California (where it is currently pumping on this new WNW-NW swell…I even talk about Mav’s being big enough to make me pee a little if I was sitting on the shoulder…how often do you get a forecast with that in it?!)

Anyhoo…give it a check when you get a chance.

The weekend forecast will be up in a few hours…hope you got some this morning it was pretty fun around North OC.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Waves for Friday – Peaking WNW swell

Friday will be another surf day…not as crossed up as it was earlier in the week but the new WNW swell will be starting to peak and the winter spots will end up being pretty good.

So swellwise we will have a mix of new WNW-NW swell (280-300 with most of the energy in the 290-300 range)…and some fading SW swell (200-220).

Most of the average spots, with just ok exposure to one swell or the other, will be in the waist-chest high range with a few more shoulder high sets showing on the lower tides. Look for some shoulder high+ sets mixing in on the better exposed, but still “average” NW facing spots.

Standout breaks, like those in San Diego, Ventura, and the South Bay, will be in the chest-head high range with some overhead…sets mixing in at times. Looks like the best NW combo spots may even have touch more size…I wouldn’t be surprised to see some bigger overhead+ sets sneaking through.

Winds and weather look good again…mostly light and variable to light offshore winds in the morning. There will be some areas of patchy/dense fog at times, so watch for some texture around the edges of those banks. W-SW winds in the 10-12 knot range are expected by the afternoon…though we may see a bit of a cleanup in some areas by the early evening.

The top NW facing spots are going to be the call tomorrow…the well exposed points and reefs are going to have the best shape and the most size…though if you don’t have one close by, or you just don’t want to have to navigate the sea-of-fiberglass, you might give the better exposed combo breaks a check as well…hopefully there will still be enough SW swell in the water that it can help break it up. Even though it will be rideable almost everywhere surf size will definitely drop off as you move out of the well-exposed areas (that I highlighted above) so if you are a size-queen plan on sticking to the top breaks in those areas…the combo of bigger swell and still clean conditions, will make driving an extra 20-minutes or so worth it.

Here are the tides…

02:43AM LDT 3.2 H
05:26AM LDT 3.1 L
12:06PM LDT 4.8 H
08:35PM LDT 0.8 L

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/22/2009

Forecast Overview

New WNW swell is starting to show on the offshore buoys this morning and will be slowly creeping into exposed spots through the afternoon. This WNW’er will peak on Friday and then drop very slowly through the weekend while it mixes with some SW swell leftovers. Clean conditions and light offshore winds will hold Friday-Sunday…Monday will be clean too but temps and winds will return to a more standard pattern.

Short Range (next 4 days)

WNW swell (280-300) will peak for most spots through the morning while a fading mix of SW energy (200-220) continues to hang in the background. Look for the average spots to see surf in the waist-shoulder high range. The top NW facing breaks, and the best combo spots, will be more consistently in the chest-head high range with a few overhead sets mixing in at times. Winds/Weather: Conditions look good…mostly light and variable winds through the morning with a couple of pockets of light-moderate offshore flow at the usual wind-prone spots in LA/Ven/SB counties.

The WNW swell will fade slightly as we head into the weekend…the overall size won’t change much but the swell periods will shorten up leaving the swell a touch more gutless. SW swell will also continue to show but will be mostly weak leftovers at this point. The average exposed W-WNW facing breaks will be in the waist-chest high range with some less consistent shoulder high sets. The standout NW facing breaks will be in the chest-shoulder-head high range with still a few head high+ sets showing on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds, even light offshore in some areas, will be on tap for the morning. NW winds around 10-12 knots will develop through the mid-afternoon and then lay down slightly in the evening.

New WNW swell (280-300 from a storm following the first one) will layer in with the mix of fading WNW energy from earlier in the week and background SW swell (190-220). Most spots will continue to see surf in the waist-chest high+ range with some bigger shoulder-head high sets showing at the standout breaks. Winds/Weather: Clean conditions continue. Light and variable winds will be on tap for the morning followed by the standard NW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon…overall temps start to cool slightly and we should see the return of the marine layer by later in the day.

The mix of WNW-NW swell (280-300) will hold into Monday and mix with some leftover SW Southern Hemi swell. Wave heights will be in the waist-chest high range at the average exposed breaks. The standout spots will be more consistently in the waist-shoulder high range…possibly a bit bigger at the best exposed spots down in the San Diego and Southern Ventura regions. Winds/Weather: Back to a more normal pattern as a weak cold front breaks up the weekend’s high-pressure. Look for light winds for the morning and mostly clean conditions. NW winds 10-15 knots build in through mid-afternoon.


North Pacific
New WNW-NW swell is moving in California this morning and will start showing at the more northerly Socal Counties later this afternoon and will likely peak overnight into Friday. As the swell peaks we can expect steady chest-shoulder high sizes at the exposed breaks and shoulder-overhead sets (maybe even overhead+) at the standout breaks, mostly those in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego.

This swell won’t fade super fast thanks to a following cold front that trails the first part of the storm. This second set of fetch will continue to send in some smaller and shorter-period (but still very rideable) surf all the way through the 25-26th before it drops off.

Storm that set up this new WNW swell.

Further out there isn’t any spectacular storm activity…just a string of fast moving, but small sized, low-pressures that funnel through our NW swell window on their way to the northerly reaches of the Gulf of Alaska. While they aren’t that great looking they will send out a few small-playful sized NW swells that will help keep us in at least rideable surf.

One thing that does bear watching is all of the tropical typhoon activity occurring over by Japan…the long-range GFS and WavewatchIII models are showing some potential extra-tropical activity about the same time a strong cold front moves off Siberia…this isn’t set to occur for another 5-6 days so the odds that it will happen aren’t all that good…but we can always dream.

South Pacific
Still not much happening in the South Pacific that will be affecting Socal. There are a couple of scattered storms pushing through the storm track but they are either out of our swell window or moving much too zonally (or the wrong direction) to send much swell our direction.

The long-range models aren’t very optimistic either…they are showing that we will see a little better S-SSW pulse (190-200) around the 30th….likely in the waist-chest high for most spots. In the meantime we are just going to have to make do with some smaller, background SW swells, that will blip through over the next several days.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Tropics have gone quiet again…hurricane Rick (and the repositioning high-pressure) have sort of screwed up the atmospheric conditions needed for hurricane development. There is a chance that we will see conditions improve as we move through the weekend…but there are no tropical systems expected at this time.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, October 26th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster