Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – New messy W swell

Wednesday is not looking like a surf day for most areas…but a couple of random, protected, pockets may be lurking out there as this storm slowly moves through the region.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of building W-NW swell (270-300 but with most of the energy around 285-300) and some new long-period S-SSW swell (180-200) from the Southern Hemisphere. You can already see some of the W swell starting to leak through the outer waters on the CDIP chart…

…by morning this W swell will be starting to hit the beaches but it doesn’t look like the peak of the swell will actually start to arrive until late in the afternoon, likely pushing through overnight into Thursday.

Just for the curious (nerd alert)…here are a couple of satellite passes from the NOAA/GOES group and the QuikSCAT bird.

Sometimes, when you have storms with this close proximity, (and with the California Buoy #49059 still out of commission, which would be a really good tool to have right now), it is nice to get a better look at the “analysis” data (stuff that is actually happening)...compared to just the forecast and computer model data. In this case, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t seeing incredibly strong winds coming in below the #46006 buoy…if we were then we would have been potentially looking at a much larger and more westerly swell than the buoys and models may have been showing.

Using multiple sources, like those two images above, are a great way to get a better feel as to what to look for in future situations when you might not have both data sources. It totally treads deeply into the “weather nerd” territory…but if you get good at interpreting the satellite photos it can really help you with gaps in your information. Anyways…sorry drifted off topic there for a moment…on to the surf…

Our surf on Wednesday will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range for the average exposed spots…basically breaks that only have marginal exposure to the building WNW-NW energy. The top WNW-NW facing breaks, mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego, will be in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead sets starting to become more consistent by the afternoon evening.

Weather/Conditions/Shape unfortunately doesn’t look great for many places…forecasts are calling for steady S-SW winds around 10-15 knots for most of Santa Barbara down through Orange County. A couple of the local wind models are calling for SE winds for parts of San Diego…not sure how accurate that is…but it is worth keeping an eye on it if you live down that way. Look for the Southerly winds to stay pretty steady throughout the day and bring in rain, heavy at times, as well.

Since most spots get pretty tweaked shapewise by the southerly winds I don’t think that it is going to be very surfable tomorrow…also a lot depends on how much SW those winds get…the more westerly they become the less breaks we see that have some wind protection. Overall I wouldn’t spend a lot of time looking for waves tomorrow…definitely wouldn’t drive a ton anywhere…but if you live close to a S wind protected break, that likes W swell, it might be worth giving it a couple of quick checks throughout the day to see if it holds together as the swell comes up.

Here are the tides…

12:57AM LDT 0.0 L
07:18AM LDT 5.0 H
01:19PM LDT 1.2 L
07:04PM LDT 5.2 H

If you guys get out and get some waves tomorrow make sure to drop me a quick report.


Anonymous said...

Nothing to report being that it's still raining, and I ain't riding to the beach.. Blgh

cheerupcheerio said...

winds are still light here in North San Diego! just a slight bump to the water. One of my pals said he had a super fun session this morning. I was stuck doing math problems... ugh.

Uzair said...


Do you have any resources for the water quality report in the areas?


Shiv said...

So what are your thoughts on surfing after the rain ?? If they waves are going to be good should we go and just wear ear plugs ?

Adam Wright said...

Hey Gang...I just posted a little bit on water quality in that random surf report post that just went up.

Looks like the swell is starting to pick up as well.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Earplugs aren't going to prevent anyone from getting ill, etc.
Unless you put a condom over your head, you're going to inhale, or swallow some sh!t