Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Surf for Thursday – Cleaner but with the surf fading away

Thursday looks like a below average surf day…

On one hand the surf will be dropping and we can expect smaller and steeper NW angled energy as well as some trace SW swell…on the other hand the conditions will be much cleaner and most of us will have work off which is usually a pretty good reason to go to the beach and try and find some waves. I think it will be a marginal day in terms of size and swell-shadowing but if you have an exposed spot nearby you should at least be able to get out and ride something.

Size is going to vary a lot between exposed and non-exposed areas…the swell periods are really starting to shorten up and the swell direction is getting a lot more northerly (290-300 with most of the energy above 295), which means a lot fewer exposed breaks and less swell refraction into areas that don’t have the direct exposure (but would have been able to pull in some size if the swell had a longer-period). Check out the CDIP Nowcast…you can really see the areas affected by the shift.

Surfwise most of the “average” breaks will be in the knee-waist high range tomorrow…maybe some rare chest high sets as the weak SSW swell combos up with the smaller windswell. The better WNW facing breaks, mostly in Ventura and the South Bay, will be in the waist-chest high range a lot more consistently than other areas. Standout NW breaks, mostly through Southern San Diego, will be more in the waist-shoulder high range. Expect soft, windswelly shape even at the top breaks.

Winds look good tomorrow…mostly light and variable in the morning with some mild/moderate onshore flow NW 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

With the mostly small/soft surf on tap I don’t think that Thursday will amount to much fun…but there are a few breaks that should have some small/rideable/semi-playful size…so we shouldn’t write it completely off. If you have work off tomorrow I would probably skip over the dawn patrol…let things warm up a touch and make sure to bring the small wave gear. Hope you guys find a few.

Here are the tides…

12/24/2009 Thursday
02:49AM LST 4.1 H
09:38AM LST 2.2 L
02:14PM LST 2.9 H
08:23PM LST 1.5 L

Oh and I was looking at the storm forming ‘out the back’ that will be sending us waves for the 27th…today and tomorrow are going to be the days that form the majority of the swell, so I don’t have a lot of the actual remote sensing data, but the visible imagery looks pretty good so far…check it out…I even have some quick video.

Just based on that quick animation I think that we are going to see a pretty decent shot of WNW swell as we head into Sunday/Monday. I should have more information tomorrow as more of the data gets updated.

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