Monday, October 26, 2009

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

1 comment:

Berto at Discount Supplements said...

Hah definitely one of your funnier reports. Hopefully we'll get some stuff in LA so I don't need to drive down to your hood.