Thursday, November 19, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 11/19/2009

Forecast Overview

The first pulse of WNW-NW swell will back down as we head into Friday…but more WNW-NW energy moves in right behind it and pushes our surf back up on Saturday and eventually peaks on Sunday. A little bit of funky weather/winds for Saturday morning but clean conditions for Sunday and the first half of next week. More WNW swell on tap for Tuesday…and possibly a bigger one on Thanksgiving. (Turkey Day surf..hell yeah!)

Short Range (next 4 days)

Our WNW-NW swell (280-300) will be backing off while small, inconsistent SW swell (200-220) holds in the background. The average WNW-NW facing spots and good combo breaks will be in the knee-chest high range…maybe a few bigger sets in the morning before the high tide. Top NW facing breaks will have chest-shoulder high surf with some head high sets showing at the better exposed breaks in San Diego. Winds/Weather: Mostly light and variable winds with some areas of ESE-SE winds moving through Orange County and San Diego. Slightly onshore W-NW winds 10-14 knots will be on tap through the afternoon. Increasing clouds and possibly some rain move in later Friday night.

A whole new mix of WNW-NW swell moves in…both as windswell and some longer-period energy from a storm on the edge of the Gulf of Alaska. Again the swell direction will be in the 280-300 degree range but the main push of energy will be 290-300. The average spots will build back into the waist-chest high range for the morning with some shoulder high sets mixing in as the swell gets bigger in the afternoon. Top NW facing spots start off in the chest-shoulder high range with some bigger sets up towards Ventura for the morning. As the swell fills in look for many of the NW facing standouts to build into the shoulder-head high range with some bigger overhead sets arriving before dark. Winds/Weather: Not the greatest weather…NW winds come in behind Friday’s weak cold front…possibly spinning up the eddy in some areas and pushing NW winds through others. Really your best bet it to keep an eye on conditions and see if they stay (or become) manageable at your local NW swell spots.

The WNW-NW swell mix (280-300…but 290-300 is the sweet spot) will peak and mix with some background SSW-SW swell (195-220). Most exposed spots will be the chest-shoulder high range with some inconsistent plus sets mixing in. Top NW facing spots in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego, will have shoulder-head high+ surf fairly consistently and some bigger sets going a couple of feet overhead at times. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable to light offshore winds for the morning and variable NW winds 10+ knots for the afternoon. Overall this looks like the best day of the weekend (really though it was 50/50 odds…man I am a jackass).

Our surf fades slowly as the WNW-NW swell backs off (don’t worry it will be back). Look for more waist-chest high waves at the average spots. NW facing standouts will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets through the morning. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds through the morning with a few patches of offshore flow around the passes and canyons. NW winds 10-12+ knots rebuild through the afternoon.


North Pacific
The North Pacific is fired up right now…lots of storm activity…waves for the upcoming weekend and more forecasted for next week. Look for WNW-NW swell to fade slightly on Friday but then rebuild Saturday before peaking on Sunday…there will be a little weather/wind to come with the increase in surf on Saturday but conditions clean up and shape will improve as it peaks Sunday. Clean conditions and slightly fading surf on tap for Monday.

New long-period NW swell (290-300) moves in on Tuesday Nov 24th and mixes with a slight bump in local windswell. Looks like more chest-shoulder high waves on tap for the average NW facing spots. Standout breaks, in the usual winter areas, will have some shoulder-head high+ sets. This will hold some decent size into early Wednesday and then start to back off slightly by the afternoon.

Further Out there is a pretty gnarly looking storm over by Kamchatka right now…check it out…look at the big black pit of nastiness moving over the Aleutians.

Here it is zoomed in…lots of 40-60 knots of wind showing in the quickscat readings already.

Of course this part of the storm isn’t in our swell window…but all this intensity is still a good sign since the same system is forecast to move across the Pacific and push a little lower in latitude as it gets more tropical moisture from warm/wet air pocket just to the north of Hawaii. The storm eventually ends up looking something like this on the forecast charts…

And producing swell that looks like this…

If all goes well in this storm’s development we will be looking at another decent-size…maybe even well-overhead WNW swell (270-290) heading in on Thanksgiving…likely peaking Thursday afternoon and into Friday. Before we get too fired up remember that we still have about 4-5 days before the system forms and a lot can happen between now and then…fortunately it has been a consistent feature on the charts, so the odds are looking to be in our favor.

South Pacific
The weak SW swells continue to leak out of the Southern Hemi. We will see some minor knee-chest high SW swell (200-220) move in on the 22nd…and then another similar sized pulse on the 24-26th…basically these will keep the way shadowed summer spots from being totally flat and just get lost in the bigger WNW-NW energy as it hits the combo spots. I think the best we can hope for is the SW’ers to show with energy to break up the shape at the combo breaks.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Pezman said...

Hahahaa epic Deadliest catch drawing! Fortunately for Sig Hansen and the boys, they are between Opie season and King Crab jajaja

Anonymous said...

f-it brah; thanksgiving shall fire as it did 4-5 years ago clock work style - bring it!

Anonymous said...

it will be SO crowded on thanksgiving. damnit.