Thursday, December 10, 2009

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 12/10/2009

Forecast Overview

Looks like fading WNW swell on tap for Friday and into the weekend while a local cold front moves in and cranks out some more rain. Conditions look surfable through Friday midday but building S winds and rain will hamper shape through the afternoon and through both Saturday and Sunday.

Short Range (next 4 days)

The WNW swell (285-300 but still with most of the energy around 290-300) will continue to wind down. The WNW’er will be mixing with some background local windswell and trace SW energy. Most exposed spots will drop back into the chest-shoulder high range though a few of the better than average areas will have some head high sets on the lower tides. Standout NW breaks, mostly in San Diego, but at a few in Ventura and the South Bay as well, will see consistent chest-head high surf with some overhead sets mixing in at times. Winds/Weather: A new storm front is supposed to move in throughout the day but it looks like winds won’t get too funky right out of the gate. Look for E-SE winds around 10-15 knots for most areas and then building S-SE winds 10-15+ knots as well as some rain for the afternoon.

It looks a bit sloppy on Saturday as more storm activity, rain and onshore wind, continues to push through Socal. Our swell mix will be the back end of the dropping WNW swell (290-300) and some local windswell/chop being stirred up by the storm. Average spots will hold around waist-chest high while those NW standouts still see some chest-head high waves with a few plus sets mixing in at the San Diego NW standouts. Winds/Weather: S-SW winds on tap for the morning, particularly up by Santa Barbara/Ventura, with speeds around 10-15+ knots. SW-W winds 10-20 knots move in later in the day. It will be raining most of the day but watch for a few small surf-pockets in the South Bay, SD, and OC through the morning.

Looks pretty craptacular in today’s forecast run. Onshore winds and mostly leftover swell mix won’t be doing us any favors. Look for a blend of leftover WNW energy, local windswell/chop, and the ever-present background SW swell. Most spots will see poor shaped waist-chest high surf, standout NW facing breaks will see poor-shaped chest-shoulder high surf. Good times. Winds/Weather: W-WSW winds around 10-15 knots will hold for most areas, while the most exposed areas see gusts around 15-20 knots at times. Good day to stay in bed.

Conditions improve on Monday but there won’t be a ton of new swell and after all the rain the water quality will probably continue to suck. Swellwise we can expect an increase in WNW energy, both in terms of short-period windswell and some medium period energy from the system while it was a little further off the coast. Wave heights will be in the waist-chest high range at most WNW facing spots. Standout winter areas will be around the chest-shoulder high+ range…with some inconsistent head high sets mixing in. Winds/Weather: High pressure tries to build over the region…winds should lighten up in the morning…but will come back onshore by the afternoon.


North Pacific
As you probably read in the short-range part of the forecast…the WNW swell will be trailing off through the end of the week…but won’t really drop completely away as we see some reinforcement WNW energy from the approaching storm fronts that helps to string it along. Conditions will get pretty nasty over the weekend as well.

Further Out we have a storm forming up NE of Hawaii in the next couple of days that will send out some new WNW-NW swell (285-300) that will move in early next week…it sort of pairs up with some local winds to hold short-medium period energy into Monday…and then some cleaner, mostly medium period swell, into the middle of next week, peaking on the 15-16th. This one looks good for about chest-shoulder high surf at the average spots, and a few head high+ sets at the standout NW breaks.

Even Further Out the storm track remains very active (but very unstable as well)…at this point the long-range charts are hinting at some more NW swell for around the 17-18th …and possibly a slightly more W swell around the 19th. Looks like drier conditions, possibly even some light Santa Ana flow setting up through the middle of next week. These are a few days from forming so check back as we get closer.

South Pacific
This may be the most boring ocean ever…a small pulse of SW swell will move in around the 12th and then taper off through the middle of the month. Not much past chest high expected from this region at this time.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, December 14th, 2009

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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