Monday, November 9, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 11/09/2009

Forecast Overview

We will have a couple of still fun surf days on tap through the first part of the week. The NW swell will be fading but will still have enough energy to keep the exposed areas in playful rideable sizes. Small SW swell and local windswell will continue to hold in the background. A cold front moves in later in the week…we could see an increase in windswell (and onshore wind) starting on Thursday and holding into the weekend.

Short Range (next 3 days)

Our surf will be dropping slowly throughout the day as the NW swell (290-300) and the SW swell (200-220) start to wind down…local windswell will continue to hold in the background. Average breaks can expect surf in the waist-chest high range while the standout NW facing spots, mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and parts of San Diego, see some chest-shoulder high+ surf and a few head high sets still sneaking it through the morning. Winds/Weather: Winds are looking good for the morning, mostly light and variable to light-offshore for most areas. Patchy fog will continue to push over parts of the coast…so watch for some texture/bump around the edges. Look for W winds 10-12 knots to build in through the afternoon.

Wednesday – Veteran’s Day
The swell mix continues to back down as we see both the size and consistency of the NW energy taper off even more. The SW swell (200-220) will drop to a mostly “leftover” status and mingle with the background NW windswell. Average spots hold around waist high. Top NW facing spots, and the best combo breaks, will be more in the waist-chest high range with some rare shoulder high waves on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Look for another clean morning… winds will be mostly light and variable to light-offshore for most areas. Patchy fog will continue to push over parts of the coast. Look for W winds 10-12 knots to build in through the afternoon.

Wave heights start to creep back up on Thursday as a new mix of stormy medium/short-period swell moves thanks to a cold front pushing through our outer waters. Surfwise conditions don’t look all that great and the majority of the energy will be bit of a short-period mess…but the swell direction shifts a little more westerly so more spots will be exposed to it…if the storm stalls out, or stays further north, we might get at least a little surf-window. Sizewise…it looks good for chest-shoulder high surf at the better W facing breaks and some head high sets at the standouts. Hopefully we will dodge the weather bullet and the surf will stay a little more surfable. Winds/Weather: At this point it looks a bit sloppy on Thursday. Morning winds are forecast to be out of the NW 10-20 knots…strongest up around SB/Ventura…and lighter as you move towards SD/OC. W winds around 10-15+ knots will be on tap for all areas by the afternoon.


North Pacific
After that last big storm pushed through the NPAC (sending in that bigger NW swell over last weekend) the storm track has sort of shifted into a lower gear. There are still a few storms forecast to slip through on the edge of our swell window but in general any sort of swell they do generate will be much smaller and less consistent than what we had the last few days. We can expect a mix of medium-period WNW-NW swell holding for the next couple of days along with some building local NW windswell from a new cold front threatening to move down the coast later this week.

Further Out High pressure is starting to rebuild through the NE Pacific…sort of gumming up the mid-latitudes and forcing storm action up closer to the Aleutians…fortunately it hasn’t tried to ridge across to the Pacific NW (blocking up the Gulf of Alaska in the process). So at this point we still have a little bit of a gap between the high-pressure and the West Coast…check out the Sea-Level-Pressure Chart…

It is this gap that will let a little more storm action through in the next 3-4 days…potentially setting up some more WNW-NW swell for around the 16-19th…nothing huge at this point but definitely rideable size, which is always nice to see on the chart.

South Pacific
High pressure continues to plague the Southern Hemi storm track by holding position across a lot of the mid-latitudes over by Chile and Easter Island. The high is strong enough to disrupt most of the Southern Ocean, pushing most of the storm action southward to Antarctica rather than letting it move through our swell window. Most of the fetch lining up for Socal is positioned over by New Zealand in our SW swell window, which sucks for a couple of reasons. For one thing it makes swell travel a few thousand extra miles to reach us…which means that swell decay is more pronounced. Also it takes the swell right through the South Pacific islands, which chews up even more energy as the islands (and their seamounts) filter out some of the longer-period swell.

Basically I am not expecting much swell from the SPAC for the next few days…look for mostly background SW energy (200-220) in the knee-waist high range for most spots and a few chest high+ sets at the top standouts. These swells will overlap throughout the week …never really fading away but not doing all that much surfwise either.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Not much brewing up here at this time…no storms are expected to develop for the next couple of days.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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