Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – Cleaning up…but expect some lingering bump

Wednesday looks rideable…but we need our local winds to get their poop together in order for conditions to improve. I definitely think there will be some pockets of surfy-ness tomorrow…but “where” and “for how long” will depend a lot on how winds behave tonight.

NW windswell has been building through the outer waters all day today…unfortunately most of the energy is coming in at a very steep swell-angle, above 300-degrees, which means SoCal is seeing a lot of shadowing from Point Conception (and the Channel islands). It also doesn’t help that the swell’s periods are so short, around 6-10 seconds. At those periods the energy doesn’t really wrap…so if you aren’t directly exposed to the swell direction it will basically march right on past your spot. Check out the buoys from this afternoon (yes you are reading it right…the Harvest Buoy is holding around 17-feet…unfortunately most of its energy is getting blocked.

Here is the forecast for tomorrow morning…

As you can see on the CDIP forecast above…the majority of the energy is heading towards San Diego, with a couple of tendrils sneaking into Ventura, the South Bay, and some smaller leakage around OC/North SD.

Wave heights for tomorrow are going to be in the waist-chest high range at the “average” NW windswell spots. The better NW facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some bigger sets mixing in. The top San Diego windswell spots, mostly from La Jolla southward, will be running consistently in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead+ sets showing through the morning and then becoming less consistent by the afternoon.

Winds are really what is going to make or break the surf tomorrow. The forecast is calling for winds to start shifting from the NW to N/NNE as we move through the day tomorrow…but it is a little unclear how soon that shift will start. At this point, considering that the air-temps are dropping fast (and will just get colder tonight), I think that the shift is going to happened sooner rather than later…and that we might even see N-NNE winds for the dawn patrol tomorrow morning. The COAMPS model is sort of saying the same thing…

It still has a lot of N-NNW winds in the outer waters…but the coastal flow is getting routed through the passes and canyons and has more of a northerly tint to it. Here I zoomed in on the COAMPS winds for each region…

Santa Barbara and Ventura

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego

Based on this forecast it looks like the cleanest conditions will set up around North LA and Orange County…but with some side offshore winds in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego. Hopefully we will see more of a general offshore than this model is calling for…I am not holding my breath for that though.

For the morning…I think that you are going to want to check the various live wind stations and surf cams before driving very far to check the surf, if the wind doesn’t switch fast enough it may still be pretty ugly. If you live close to the beach, particularly near a good windswell spot, I would plan on at least giving it a drive-by if the winds don’t seem too bad.

Conditions will definitely improve more on Thursday but the windswell will be dropping off fast…lets cross our fingers that we can get a fast cleanup on tomorrow and take advantage of the swell.

Here are the tides…let me know if you find a few fun ones tomorrow.

12:22AM LDT 0.9 L
06:54AM LDT 4.5 H
12:59PM LDT 2.0 L
06:28PM LDT 4.1 H


Vince said...

hey adam, where do you get your COAMPS forcast models??? I can only find current winds online

Anonymous said...

south san diego sucked. not clean at all. sloppy mess everywhere.

Anonymous said...

The Rip Curl contest has been a real eye opener. Portugal gets tons of surf, and on the particular part of the coast they are at, there's always some place within only a few short miles that is offshore and rideable.

(No hour long drives down the freeway to get crap. Just grab a cup of great coffee, do a quick cruise around, and hit it.)

Oh, and SL disses HB in the final wrap up. Anyone who knows, knows that the OC is for chumps. Funny thing is, SL is located across PCH from the Pier.

I guess the "factory" that outputs "content" needs to be where the market for "clueless surfers" is located.

With the way the economy is going, if I was a 20-something, I would be heading for Peniche.

Anonymous said...

clean in north SD but weak sauce shape

Vince said...

piss poor in south sd. winds didnt let up

Anonymous said...

Surfed dorey fleet, great shape side offshore.. 10 guys out... 2 - 4'... worth it! :) :) :) I LOVE WAVES! even windswell!