Thursday, November 5, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 11/05/2009

Forecast Overview

Our surf starts to slowly increase on Friday as new NW swell creeps in along with some building local windswell. A better NW swell, from the edges of the big storm in the Gulf of Alaska, will begin to blend into the mix on Saturday and will eventually peak on Sunday with some head high+ surf at the standout breaks. A smaller, but still rideable SW swell slips into the combo spots and good S-SW facing breaks Sunday and Monday. Make sure to watch out for slightly funky weather and the large tidal swings as we move through the weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Look for a slow start on Friday but our surf will eventually start to increase as a new NW swell (290-300) begins to send in some short-medium period energy and a weak windswell/SW swell hold in the background. Surf for the morning will average around knee high with a few slightly bigger sets showing at the standout NW facing breaks. Look for better NW spots to build into the waist-chest high range by the evening…top spots will be slightly bigger at times. Winds/Weather: Winds will be little unstable Friday morning…overall it looks light and variable but with a few pockets of onshore texture in a few areas. Expect NW winds 10-15+ knots to build in through the afternoon.

Our mix of NW swell (290-300) gets a little bigger as we see some extra energy from local windswell and the first long-period bits from the bigger NW swell (again 290-300+)…SW swell leftovers continue to hold in the background. Look for the average WNW-NW facing breaks to bump up to the waist-chest high+ range while the standout NW spots, particularly those from LA northward, will see some chest-shoulder high waves as the swell mix fills in and a chance for some bigger sets by the late afternoon/evening. Winds/Weather: Still looking a little funky windwise...a cold front is expected to pass through the area this weekend and the wind models are calling for N-NW winds around 10 knots for SB/Ventura. OC and SD would see more W-WSW onshore flow in the 5-6 knot range. LA for some reason looks more E-SE winds with some almost eddyish circulation pulling winds around through the South Bay.

The new NW swell (290-300+ with lots of shadowing from Point Conception and the Nearshore Islands) will peak as a new SW swell (200-220) fills in a bit more. Look for the average NW spots to build into the chest-shoulder high occasionally head high range. Standout NW facing spots, in Ventura, The South Bay, and San Diego, will be consistently in the shoulder-head high+ range with some inconsistent overhead+ sets mixing in. SW facing spots will be more in the waist-chest high range while the standout SW breaks, mostly through South OC/North SD, see some inconsistent shoulder high sets. Winds/Weather: winds clean up…mostly light and variable in the morning with some pockets of onshore texture at the really wind sensitive areas. Look for NW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

The NW’er (290-300+) will start to slowly back off along with the smaller SW swell (200-220). Average NW spots see chest-shoulder high sizes while the top spots see more chest-head high surf with some plus sets still showing in the morning. SW breaks continue to hold in the waist-chest high+ range. Winds/Weather: Conditions look pretty good…mostly light and variable winds through the morning, even light offshore for a couple of areas. NW winds around 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.


North Pacific
Storm activity definitely picked up in the North Pacific over the last few days. We had moderate storm spin through our swell window earlier this week that will send in some playful/rideable waves on Friday and into Saturday.

A much bigger storm is grinding through the Gulf of Alaska right now that will be sending a large NW swell to Northern and Central California this weekend…and a smaller version of this swell to Southern California. You can get a lot more details on this storm and how the energy will hit Nor/Cen California on the swell-alert that I sent out earlier…you can read the alert here…

Southern California will see that new NW swell (290-300+) fill in slowly through the day on Saturday and then peak on Sunday before slowly fading on Monday. As the swell peaks look for many spots to have consistent chest-shoulder high surf with some bigger sets. Standout breaks will be shoulder-overhead pretty consistently with some bigger overhead+ waves sneaking in at times.

Further Out the NPAC is going to calm down a little bit…it won’t go totally quiet but overall activity does back down a lot. At this point it looks like we will see another playful sized chest-shoulder high NW swell (285-300) that moves in around the 11-12th. Not much showing after that one…at least right now.

South Pacific
The SPAC is still a snoozefest thanks to a stubborn ridge of high pressure holding position across a lot of the mid-latitudes…we will have a slightly better SW’er showing this upcoming weekend. This SW swell (210-220) that came from an ok, but not great, storm over by New Zealand. This new pulse will start to arrive on Saturday…build slowly, with inconsistent sets, throughout the day and will eventually peak on Sunday/Monday with surf in the waist-high+ range for many spots and a few chest high+ sets at the standout SW facing breaks. There will be a much stronger NW swell in the water at the time…so expect this swell to get mostly lost at the NW/SW combo spots…but hopefully it will add enough energy that we see some peakier shape at the better exposed breaks.

Further Out there isn’t much showing on the long-range charts…just a little bit of fetch hanging around New Zealand that will continue to poop out some weak SW pulses that will filter in as we head toward the middle of the month.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
There is a little tropical disturbance starting to pull together down by Mainland Mexico that is showing some signs of development.

Overall tropical weather conditions are decent…so this may actually become a tropical depression…maybe more…in the next couple of days though even if it does strengthen it would still be several more days before it could reach the Socal swell window. Still it bears watching though…I’ll let you know if anything changes.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, November 9th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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