Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – big WNW swell builds throughout the day

Wednesday will be a surf day…a really good surf day (if you don’t mind the questionable water quality).

The WNW swell (280-300) will be on the rise throughout the day on Wednesday and will mix with some lumpy local windswell and a trace of SW swell that will basically evaporate in the bigger WNW-NW swell.

Due to the nature of the WNW swell angle and the timing of the storm, we can expect a pretty significant increase in swell for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties early on Wednesday…but the swell won’t be peaking for those areas until late in the day…likely after dark.

Eventually the swell will push into to all the exposed NW breaks…we can even expect a few waves showing early but not a really big jump in wave heights until later in the afternoon. Check out how the CDIP wave model shows the swell filling in on Wednesday…

Here it is at 3am

and 9am

By 3pm it continues to fill in

Winds look ok for Wednesday…sort of light/variable for the morning with some leftover texture and onshore flow for a few areas. The forecast is calling for a touch more wind than I think it should…mostly because it is freezing ass cold and that has a tendency to throw together a land-breeze as the ground temps drop lower than the ocean…I think we will have fairly clean conditions early but enough instability that variable onshore bump returns around midday and possibly strengthens into the afternoon.

So as this swell builds I expect the best shape to be at the points/reefs…this sort of size will just close out the directly exposed beach breaks...there may be a window in the morning for the southerly counties where the size hasn’t jumped too much and the beach breaks will be more makeable, just expect it to shift around by the end of the day. Water quality won’t be the best…really with the amount of rain it will be pretty nasty at the spots affected by runoff…so as usual we end up having to weigh the risks of catching some nasty against the quality of the surf. Personally I am going to hunt around some of the more protected areas close to home…but if I had a real point/reef sort of close that would be my first check. If your region really sucks on these swells for some reason, and you love big waves, this would be a good swell to drive a little further for…but I might save it for Thursday as the swell peaks everywhere, not just further north.

Here are the tides…good luck, stay safe, and send me some pictures if you get a chance.

12/09/2009 Wednesday
03:31AM LST 4.8 H
10:01AM LST 1.7 L
03:20PM LST 3.6 H
09:34PM LST 1.0 L


Anonymous said...

Hey Adam,
Just wondering where I can go in southern orange county to get away from any direct poo run-offs. I usually surf aroun RJs and I'm thinking that's probably one of the worst possibilities. Can I go up the beach to schoolyards to get cleaner or is it a much more regional thing, yucking up the NB area completely (and most likely the entire populated area from LB to Irvine)

A little direction will get me off and running, thanks fo any info.

Adam Wright said...

Right after heavy rains it sort of doesn't matter where you go...if enough runoff is moving into the ocean the natural disbursement that occurs as everything mixes will push it all over the area.

With that in mind the concentration, parts-per-million, near the actual runoff outlets like the river, or storm drains, or a harbor mouth, is still considerably higher than at a spot without those outlets.

The PPM will drop off pretty fast as the runoff slows, and the areas without the outlets will generally clean up faster than spots that do.

Basically you want to avoid any areas where you see that water ran directly from the land into the ocean…at least for a few days. No one can promise that you won’t get sick even if you do avoid those areas…but at least the odds are slightly better.

Anonymous said...

The swell this am seems to be showing that oddity of long periods and selectivity. Ventura is WAY overhead while Rincon is about waist high. The stretch between Ventura & Rincon is spotty as well (not to mention a crappy wind). Swell direction would make you think that Rincon would have plenty of surf.