Monday, December 7, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 12/07/2009

Forecast Overview

Stormy conditions and building wind/storm swell continue through Tuesday. Cleaner conditions and a much larger dose of WNW swell move in on Wednesday. The swell peaks on Thursday just in time for more rain/wind to start to arrive. More weather funk and WNW swell hold through Friday and then slowly start winding down through the next weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

We seen an increase in W-WNW swell (270-300 and mostly short-medium period energy from this storm sending in the rain), while some small SW energy hides in the background. Most spots can expect surf in the chest-shoulder high range while the standout WNW-NW facing breaks, mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego, see surf in the chest-head high range with some head high sets mixing in. Winds/Weather: The storm will be moving out on Tuesday but there will be some “clearing” NW winds moving in as the storm moves out. Looks like NW winds around 10-15 knots on tap for most of the day…possibly strengthening a bit by midday and then backing down in the evening.

The new larger WNW swell (280-300) starts to arrive on Wednesday mixing in with fading W-WNW wind/storm swell, and some background SW energy. Santa Barbara and Ventura will start to see new energy through the first part of the day but spots further south will be working with mostly leftovers through the dawn patrol. By the afternoon the swell will really start to get going and we can expect consistent shoulder-overhead surf for most W facing beaches. Better exposed WNW-NW facing breaks will be running consistently head high to a couple of feet overhead and the top standout NW facing spots, mostly through San Diego, will be seeing bigger sets…probably getting close to double-overhead range as the sun sets. Winds/Weather: Not bad overall…look for light and variable winds in the morning with some variable onshore flow through the afternoon. Mostly clear skies and clean conditions for the more protected areas. Water quality is going to be pretty bad from Tuesday though.

The WNW swell (280-300) will peak and hold through the day. Expect the average W facing breaks to hold in the chest-head high range with consistent sets going overhead+. The better WNW facing spots, particularly those in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego, will be running in the shoulder-overhead range with sets going a few feet overhead on the better tides. Top standout breaks, again mostly in San Diego, will be in the consistent overhead range with waves going several feet overhead to the double-overhead range. Winds/Weather: Another storm front begins moving through the northerly counties on Thursday so Santa Barbara and Ventura will have SE winds 10-15 knots, with stronger gusts and rain on tap. LA down through San Diego will have lighter SE winds…and less rain…but expect the winds to build out of the S by later in the day.

The WNW swell will hold into the morning and continue to push in solid surf throughout the day. Sizewise things will stay similar to Thursday but with slightly shorter periods and a little less consistency. Look for more consistently overhead surf at the W facing breaks and the top NW facing spots to go several feet+ overhead. The standout breaks will have some bigger waves mixing in at times. Winds/Weather: More storm funkiness continues to move through the area…S winds around 5-10 knots will be on tap for most regions and stronger S-SE winds 10-20+ knots will blow up around Point Conception. Rain and cloudy skies will continue throughout the day…look on the good side…the local mountains will get a giant white poop laid down just in time for the holidays!


North Pacific
After watching the “biggest storm in the history of mankind!” (please detect the sarcasm in that last statement) form over the weekend I think we are right on pace to see a pretty legit WNW swell for the middle/end of this week. Do I think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread? No I don’t…sliced bread is pretty damn good…and really I think that with the weather/wind and now runoff issues the swell won’t be able to live up to the hype that is being heaped on it. In reality we are going to see a large, very consistent, lump of WNW swell that will have plenty of problems with tide, shape, currents, weather, and wind…enough that most people aren’t going to score a ton of surf out of it. Anyway enough of me being a Debbie downer…here are the details. Once again thanks to Mark @ for letting me poach the occasional image...please visit his website when you get a chance (by which I mean right after you look at mine).

The big WNW swell (280-300 with the primary part of the incoming energy in the 290-300-degree range…but enough energy in the 275-290 degree range to get some sort of surf to most places.) fills in throughout the day on Wednesday the 9th with the energy peaking Thursday the 10th and then holding surf into Friday and the following weekend before it slowly fades out. At this point I am expecting consistent shoulder-overhead surf at the average WNW facing breaks…and then solid well-overhead to double-overhead sizes at the standout NW breaks as this baby peaks. There is a good chance that Central and Southerly San Diego County standouts will have even more size since those areas have more exposure to the NW energy.

Random image…this swell hitting Buoy 51001, the NW Hawaii buoy.

Further out thanks to a lot of energy from this big system (and a couple of embedded fronts that followed the big one) we will have W-WNW swell continuing into Socal for most of next weekend and into early next week…The size will drop off and the swell periods will definitely shorten up but we can expect rideable chest-shoulder high+ sizes at the average spots through Sunday. Even Further out in looks like another decent sized storm will form in the wake of this current system…possibly setting up another round of WNW swell for around the 14-15th…more details as this one forms.

South Pacific
Still a few background pulses of SW energy will be filtering through this weekend…nothing bigger than waist-chest high at the best breaks, but still some energy nonetheless. Looks like a slightly bigger SW’er (200-220) will move in on the 8th and peak into the 9th with surf in the waist-chest high range, but with most of the energy being swallowed up by the much larger WNW swell.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ever feel like selling your boards and just giving up all together on surfing? stupid storm.