Thursday, October 22, 2009

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

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