Thursday, October 8, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/08/2009

Forecast Overview

Wave heights will back down just a touch over the next few days but, thanks to a few small pulses of Southern Hemi energy and local WNW-NW windswell, our surf will continue to be rideable and even fun at times. Larger S-SW swell will be on tap for next week…and there is even potential for a solid W-WNW swell…so with some luck we might be looking at some combo action for the middle-end of next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Wave heights will drop slightly as our S-SSW swell (180-210) continues to slowly back off…NW swell (a mix of windswell/med-period energy) will hold in the background. Average spots will back down to the knee-waist high range. The standout S facing breaks will be in the waist-chest high range…a few of the top combo breaks may be slightly bigger on the sets. Winds/Weather: Expect light and variable winds through the morning. WNW-NW winds around 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.

Our surf will sort of hold in place as new SW swell (200-220) blends with the fading S leftovers and local windswell. The average exposed breaks will continue to hold around knee-waist high…while the SW facing standouts pull in some inconsistent chest high sets. Look for the “top” spots to shift slightly as the swell mix slides a little more SW’erly. Winds/Weather: More light/variable winds expected for the morning. NW winds 10-15 knots build in through the afternoon. Chance for some areas of patchy fog through the early morning hours.

Playful surf continues on Sunday as more small, but rideable, S-SW swells join the existing southern hemi swell mix. Local WNW windswell will continue to push in a few small waves as it filters through the background. Look for more waist-waist high+ surf at the average S-SW facing spots, and OK combo breaks. Standout S-SW facing spots, mostly through Orange County, will be in the waist-chest high range with a few inconsistent chest high+ sets coming through on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Expect light and variable winds through the morning. WNW-NW winds around 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.

We will see a touch more size as more SW swell (200-220) and building local W-WNW windswell add some more energy to the mix. Most breaks will push back into the more consistent waist-chest high range while the standout SW facing spots and the best combo spots see some inconsistent shoulder high sets. New NW swell (290-300) may start to show a few new lines at the northerly counties (Santa Barbara/Ventura) by late in the day…potentially putting a few waist-high+ sets into the better NW facing standouts before sundown. Winds/Weather: Mostly light winds expected for early next week…morning winds will be light and variable…afternoon winds out of the W around 10-15 knots.


North Pacific
The NPAC is definitely starting to heat up…all of that extra-tropical typhoon energy is really kicking things up a couple of notches. We won’t see any immediate jump in North Pacific swell over the next few days but we are going to have some decent energy coming down the pipe for next week.

We will have a minor mix of local NW windswell and a weak NW swell (295-300+) that hits over the next couple of days…and then by Monday afternoon the swell will start to increase and shift a little more WNW’erly (290-300). By Tuesday (Oct 13th) the WNW-NW’er will be putting waist-chest high sized surf into the average winter spots…and maybe a touch more at the top spots.

Further Out… I am seeing a pretty impressive looking storm forming on the forecast charts. It still has about 4-5 days before it is expected to develop…but I have seen signs of it showing on the various weather models for the last couple of days…which is usually a good sign oddswise that the storm will actually form and it isn’t some sort of hiccup in the long-range data.

Check out the Sea-level-pressure chart…this one is showing the 120-hour (5-days out) forecast.

This is the corresponding wave-heights forecast from wavewatch-III…

As I said…based on this forecast run the storm looks pretty solid, and if it develops, we will be looking at a pretty significant W-WNW swell hitting the West Coast. Even better than that…the storm looks like it will be low enough in latitude to hook plenty of energy into Southern California but still possibly let us avoid the worst part of the weather that it will bring to Northern California, (cross your fingers on that part). At this point I am expecting the first part of this W-WNW swell (260-300) to begin moving in on the 14th…and then likely peaking for most spots on the 15-16th. This one looks good for easy shoulder-head high surf at the average exposed spots…and overhead to possibly well overhead sizes at the standout NW facing breaks. Again keep in mind that this storm still needs to actually form…I will definitely be keeping an eye on this one.

South Pacific
The SPAC, despite being a bit zonal over the last week, is still managing to send up some fun/rideable S-SW pulses…overall wave heights will back off as we head into the weekend but we can still expect some inconsistent waist-chest high+ sets at the standout SW facing breaks. New SW swell (200-220) starts to filter in with a touch more size by next Monday.

Further Out there was a little burst of storm activity earlier this week…that while it was aimed more towards Central and South America…did an OK job of setting up some fetch for Socal. This new S-SSW swell (180-200) will being to show some very long-period energy, 20-second stuff, on the 14th…but will peak with chest-shoulder high+ surf on the 15-16th.

Even further out…there is still a lot of storm activity forecast to brew up by New Zealand over the next several days…which potentially send more SW swell (200-220) for around the 18-20th. Nothing major at this point…but enough to keep us surfing.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Still pretty quiet in the tropics…but there is one new area of disturbed weather that has formed off of Mainland Mexico.

At this point any development looks pretty slow…maybe it will improve over the weekend...i'm not holding my breath though.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, October 12th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

I had to read it three times just to take it all in! Next week sounds fun!

Anonymous said...

An ad for sleeping pills that magically wake you up when the next swell hits would do well on this page. Can you look into something like this?

Adam Wright said...

hahaha classic...problem is that I would want to take them too. No one would be around to wake us up.