Monday, November 16, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 11/16/2009

Forecast Overview

Tuesday is going to be small as we power through high tide and leftover swell. The rest of the week looks waaaay better as new storm activity brews up a decent shot of WNW-NW swell for late Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Long-range charts are calling for more WNW-NW swell for the weekend. I like writing those words…much better than “flat” and “do your chores”.

Short Range (next 3 days)

Pretty weaksauce on Tuesday as we see just leftovers from both the NW and even smaller leftovers from the Southern Hemi (SSW-SW). Most spots will be in the knee high range while the NW facing standouts, mostly through San Diego, see some inconsistent waist-chest high sets as the tide drops. Winds/Weather: Clean conditions with light to moderate offshore flow through the morning and then only variable onshore flow picking up through the afternoon.

Wednesday will start off slow…mostly leftovers pushing in as we try to power through the morning high tide. A new mix of WNW-NW swell and windswell (280-300) will begin to fill in around the middle of the day and then continue to build in overnight. A few of the more Northerly regions, like Santa Barbara and Ventura, will see new waves arriving by midmorning…but will see both size and consistency come up right around the end of the day. On average we can expect knee high and smaller surf for the morning. Standout SB/Ven spots will see some waist-chest high waves by midday with some shoulder high+ waves showing the best NW facing breaks (mostly in Ventura) by sundown. Winds/Weather: we get a half-ass cold front trying to move over the region but petering out about midway. So SB/Ven areas may see some onshore bump as winds turn onshore as the front moves through. LA down through San Diego will have variable winds in the morning and then moderate NW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

The new WNW-NW mix (280-300, keep in mind that most of the energy is coming in around 290-300) of local windswell and medium-period energy will peak on Thursday while a small, very small, pulse of SW swell (200-220) fills in through the background. The average spots will be in the waist-chest high range with some chest high+ sets. The standout NW spots in San Diego, Ventura, and the South Bay, will be in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent bigger sets mixing in. A few of the best breaks in San Diego will have waves going overhead to a couple of feet overhead on the biggest sets. Winds/Weather: Pretty standard…light and variable to variable onshore winds for the morning and then NW winds around 10-14 knots on tap for the afternoon.


North Pacific
The storm track in the NPAC has definitely picked back up…we already have an OK sized low-pressure sitting in the Gulf of Alaska this afternoon…check it out…

…this one will be sending in the swell that we start to see on Wednesday and eventually peaks on Thursday and Friday. Here is the Satellite shot…

And the link where you can animate its movement…

Further out the storm track has another storm moving off the Aleutians in the next couple of days that is supposed to get a bit more intense than this first low…it may not be a better swell-maker (likely it will be close to the same size as the one we see this week)…but it will definitely send in more waves for the 21-22nd. Unfortunately since this one is more intense it may make it closer to the Coast and junk up the weather…but that is still a few days away from being certain. At this point count on more shoulder-head high+ surf for the top NW standouts by the 21st, holding into the 22nd, and then slowly fading as we head into the early part of next week.

Even Further Out the forecast charts have more activity moving into our swell window late this week…chances are pretty good that we will continue to see some form of WNW-NW swell for parts of next week…hopefully we will have some waves for Turkey Day.

South Pacific
The SPAC is still being super lame…I am almost forgetting that it is even down there. OK it isn’t totally lifeless but I am not seeing a single significant swell in the forecast at this point…just a steady weak pulse of SW swell from way over by New Zealand. Looks like the energy gets slightly more pulsey around the 19th…and again around the 22nd. Man I am glad the North Pacific is getting its act together.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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