Monday, October 5, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/05/2009

Forecast Overview

Fun mix of S-SW swell and fading windswell will be on tap for the next few days as winds/weather shift back to a more normal pattern, (Fall cleanliness!) Long-range isn’t showing a ton of surf at this point…but there are some rumblings starting to bubble up in the North Pacific.

Short Range (next 3 days)

We will see a mix of dropping local WNW-NW windswell and holding/slightly fading S-SSW swell (180-210), and a new background SW swell (200-220). Average S facing breaks and ok combo spots will be in the waist-chest high range with some rare chest high+ sets. Standout S facing breaks and the top combo spots will be in the waist-shoulder high range with some inconsistent head high peaks at times. Look for the biggest size drop at the purely NW/windswell spots…the windswell is expected to really back down and it will take most of the rideable size as it does. Winds/Weather: Expect light and variable winds through the morning with some pockets of light-offshore flow in select areas. WNW-NW winds around 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.

The mix of overlapping S-SW swells (180-220) and fading NW windswell will continue. The average S-SW facing spots will hold around the waist-chest high range. Standouts, the good S facing spots and the best combo spots, will be in the chest-shoulder high range on the sets…maybe a rare bigger set on the lower tides. Shape will get a little less combo-y and a little more lined up. Winds/Weather: Conditions continue to look good through midweek…light and variable winds through the morning with the usual 10-15 knot WNW-NW winds developing through the afternoon.

More S-SW swell (180-210) pushes in and mixes with background energy and local windswell out of the NW (295-300). The NW’er is pretty steeply angled so it won’t show at most breaks, which means that most of our surf is going to be from the Southern Hemi (see what I mean about that swell mix sticking around). The average S facing spots continue to hold around waist-chest high…while the standouts are more in the chest-shoulder high range…again it looks like there may be a few plus sets sneaking in on the better tides. Winds/Weather: More good conditions…light and variable winds in the morning followed by building onshore NW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon.


North Pacific
Short-term we aren’t seeing much in the way of storm activity in the North Pacific…but things are starting to look interesting in the long-range forecasts. For the next few days we can expect a drop in our local windswell as winds in the outer waters back down to more traditional fall-type conditions. There will also be a very small, steeply angled NW swell (295-300) that arrives on Thursday, which I am basically expecting to get lost in the leftover windswell and bigger SW swell.

Further Out is were we see the forecast charts start to get a bit more lively. The current GFS weather model is calling for another typhoon over by Japan to go extra-tropical in the next 4-6 days…likely significantly enhancing the storm track as it does. Check out the model run…

You can see how, even though the typhoon doesn’t directly connect to the colder low-pressure, it adds energy into the whole storm track. That extra energy deepens the low-pressure under the Aleutian Islands and helps to push some of the fetch into a lower latitude, which puts it more into the SoCal swell window. From a swell-standpoint, if reality can live up to the models, we would be looking at a new NW swell (290-300…maybe 285-300) arriving around Oct 12th…we will have to keep an eye on it and see if it can come together.

South Pacific
We will continue to see some fun S-SW swell over the next several days…likely holding through the 7th before it really starts to drop off all that much. Overall it won’t be huge, just sort of playful fall sizes, but it will at least keep us in the water for most of the week.

Further out the South Pacific isn’t looking all that great…activity has gone a bit zonal over the last few days and while it won’t go totally flat we can expect smaller, and much less consistent, surf as the S-SW swell hitting this week backs off.

It isn’t all bad news though…there is a little bit of fetch that rolls through our window in a couple of days that will send some more chest-high+ S-SW swell for around the 16-17th…and another storm forecast to form near New Zealand that could potentially push a better looking SW swell (200-220) that would arrive around the 19-20th….hmm hopefully the NPAC can kick something out to fill in the swell gap.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Not much going on in the tropics right now…

The pic pretty much says it all for the current forecast. Long-range models, which are…hmmm let’s call them “over-enthusiastic” when it comes to tropical activity, are showing some new stuff possibly pulling together late this week…I will definitely let you guys know if I see anything coming together.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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