Monday, October 19, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 10/19/2009

Forecast Overview

We will have fun surf and improving conditions as we move through week. Peaking SW and new NW energy show on Tuesday/Wednesday and will be followed by a stronger pulse of WNW swell by Thursday. Light offshore winds set up by midweek and help keep things clean through to the weekend.

Short Range (next 3 days)

We will have a mix of peaking SW swell (200-220), new NW energy (290-300), and some holding local NW windswell from the outer waters. Most spots will hold in the knee-waist high range…with a few chest high sets on the lower tides. The standout spots, mostly the well exposed combo spots in San Diego and a few in South OC, will be more consistently in the waist-chest high+ range with some shoulder high+ sets coming in on those lower tides. I mention tides because we are still trying to work around a near 6’ high tide that hits in the mid-morning…expect shape to be a bit slow through the early part of the day. Winds/Weather: looks like overcast skies and a slight eddy forming over Socal for Tuesday…fortunately the eddy is positioned closer to San Diego so winds look generally light for the morning. Expect light/variable conditions (possibly even a little light offshore in some areas) through the morning. NW winds around 10-knots brew up later in the afternoon.

The swell mix shifts around a bit…NW swell (290-300) strengthens slightly while the SW swell (200-220) starts to back off, NW windswell, and possibly a touch of tropical SE swell from Hurricane Rick, will blend into the background. Most spots will get a touch bigger…holding more in the waist-chest high range with some chest high+ sets coming through. The standout WNW-NW facing spots, and the good combo breaks, will be in the chest-shoulder high range with a few bigger head high sets showing down in the better exposed San Diego breaks. Winds/Weather: looks nice and clean…winds will be light offshore through the morning. Light/variable to light-onshore for the afternoons, which should help us work around the tide issues.

Surf at NW facing spots starts building as a stronger, much long-period, WNW-NW swell (285-300) starts to fill in through the day. It won’t be showing everywhere in the morning mostly just filling in the exposed Santa Barbara and Ventura regions for the dawn patrol, but it steadily push into the Socal Bight throughout the day setting up more NW waves for the other Counties as we head into the afternoon (expect San Diego/OC spots to peak overnight into Friday). There will also be a bit of leftover SSW-SW energy (200-210), some dropping NW energy (290-300 and shorter-period) from earlier in the week, and a touch of local windswell. Most spots will continue to hold around the chest-high range…with some shoulder high sets starting to arrive later in the day. Standout NW facing spots, particularly in Ventura and the South Bay (and San Diego later in the day) will have shoulder-head high surf with some sets starting to go overhead at times. Winds/Weather: Conditions still look good…mostly light offshore for the morning and only marginal onshore flow by the afternoon.


North Pacific
The NPAC continues to spin up some storm action this week…we had a couple of OK looking lows move through the NW portion of our swell window over the weekend that will push in a playful NW swell (290-300) that will hit on the 20-21st.

Further out we have a nice looking storm brewing up in the NPAC right now…showing some decent looking spin on the GOES satellite photos as well as the QuikSCAT wind tracker. It has been getting more intense over the last 24 hours and is now showing some 40-60 knot winds in parts of the storm (the good parts). This system is expected to drive fast and hard towards the Northern portion of the Gulf of Alaska over the next day or so and will set up a solid looking swell for Northern and Central California, and a fun decent sized WNW-NW swell (285-300) for Southern California.

At this point it looks like the initial long-period (17-18 second stuff) starts to fill in to Socal on Thursday 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.

South Pacific
There has been some OK looking storm/fetch holding just southeast of New Zealand that set up some more SW swell (200-220) that will arrive around the 19th and peak the 20-21st with surf in the chest-shoulder high range at the top SW facing breaks.

Further out the SPAC has quieted down a bit…nothing significant in the extreme long-range forecast at this point…but we can still expect a few rideable pulses of SW activity as we head into the last part of October.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
You probably read my post on Hurricane Rick earlier today but if not…you can read it here…

Basically Hurricane Rick is starting to weaken and recurve back towards Baja and Mainland Mexico (where it will probably make landfall in the next couple of days). At this point I am not expecting much swell from Rick…just a bit of trace energy that arrives midweek and is gone by Thursday. Not much else showing out there at this point.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

I'm starting to love you all over again NPAC

Anonymous said...

Hey is that "new" CDIP link down for anyone else?

I am getting a "unable to complete request" now.