Friday, July 31, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – Some new swell on Sunday

This weekend will have a few rideable waves but conditions and tides may hamper shape.

At this point Sunday is looking like more of a surf day than Saturday but winds may pick up a bit early on Sunday that could tweak things.

Swellwise on Saturday we are going to see mostly fading SW swell and small WNW windswell. Wave heights are going to be mostly around knee-waist high at the average spots. The standout SW facing spots will have some chest high sets, but even those areas are going to be on the weak side as we see the tail end of the swell and the higher tides keeps things pretty burgery. Look for light onshore winds in the morning on Saturday and WNW flow 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

Sunday a new SW swell (200-220) and slightly bigger NW windswell begin to fill in. The morning will start off pretty slow as the very first part of the new SW’er starts to arrive. For the morning expect more knee-waist high surf at the average spots and some slightly more consistent chest high sets at the standouts. Look for SW’er to slowly fill in throughout the day building the exposed spots into more consistent chest high sets and the standouts into the shoulder high+ range. Tide and afternoon winds will likely hamper shape as the swell starts to peak but if you have a spot with a little protection you might be able to pick off a few playful ones.

Sunday’s winds will be similar to Saturday...light onshore, with some bump at exposed areas. WNW winds 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

Check out the COAMPS for the next couple of mornings...



I don’t know that I would call this weekend a “surf weekend”...mostly because of the tide and the wind will be problematic...but at the same time, it is summer, a weekend, the water is warm, and it won’t be totally flat, all of which sound like decent reasons to get in the water. I guess if you head out with the right expectations then you could have a little fun. Anyhoo I don’t know about you guys but I am ready to start this weekend...

Here are the tides...have a good one!

02:05AM LDT 0.0 L
08:50AM LDT 3.5 H
12:58PM LDT 2.8 L
07:05PM LDT 5.4 H

02:42AM LDT -0.2 L
09:17AM LDT 3.6 H
01:43PM LDT 2.6 L
07:45PM LDT 5.6 H

Long Range Surf Forecast – 7/31/2009

Hey guys...I am stoked on the response to the poll on the long-range forecast.

I was planning, and the actual implementation of this will certainly evolve as it goes along, to post a long-range forecast every few days...but still post my daily/next-day forecast in the evenings. Hopefully this will give you guys a good look at the long-range information and let you plan your surfing a little further out...but still have the detailed updates that a lot of you like to use.

Here is the 1.0 version of the new long-range forecast...let me know what you think...I want to make this into something that you guys are going to be stoked to use.

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 7/31/2009 – The first of many

Forecast Overview
We can expect mostly leftover/small waves as we move into the first part of the weekend. New SW swell builds in through Sunday and peaks Sunday afternoon into Monday. The weekend swell will fade towards the middle of next week. More S-SW swell on tap for the 7-8th.

Short Range (next 3 days)

We continue to see mostly leftover and background energy. Small/fading SW swell (190-220) will mix with some weak local WNW windswell and even the top breaks won’t be able to expect much push behind the sets. The average spots, with some SW exposure, will be in the knee-waist high range. The standout SW facing spots, mostly through South OC and North SD, will have some inconsistent chest high sets. Winds/Weather: Starting off light in the morning but still with enough onshore/eddy flow to set up texture at the open areas, cleaner at spots with some sort of protection from the wind. WNW winds 10-15 knots build in through the afternoon.

The day starts on the slow side...but a new SW swell (200-220) starts to move in with some 18-second period energy as we move through the day. Look for mostly knee-waist high+ surf at the average spots and some chest high+ sets at the standouts through the morning. The top breaks will add size as we head into the evening...topping out around chest-shoulder high with a couple of head high sets before sundown. Look for the biggest surf through the well exposed summer spots, and combo breaks, through Orange County, LA County, San Diego (and a few other scattered areas). Winds/Weather: Still a little light onshore bump for many areas in the morning, stick with spots that have some protection. Patchy fog in some areas as well. WNW winds build into the 10-15 knot for the afternoon.

The new SW swell (200-220) peaks as it mixes with some building local NW windswell. Most SW spots see some waist-chest high waves with some rare bigger sets. Standout SW spots, again in the OC, SD, and LA areas, will have chest-shoulder high surf with head high waves on the peak sets. The swell will be a little inconsistent at times, and still have a few tide issues in the afternoon but should be playful at the well exposed spots. Winds/Weather: Wind models are little funky for Monday but overall it looks mostly light/variable for the morning. A few areas will see some onshore bump but it shouldn’t be too bad. The usual afternoon winds build in out of the WNW (10-15+ knots).


North Pacific
This region is pretty quiet...I would post a chart but it would be the visual equivalent of crickets chirping. There will be some consistent NW winds moving through the outer waters so expect some on and off WNW-NW windswell energy to leak in over the next week or so.

South Pacific
The SPAC has been staying pretty active lately...nothing like the big swell...but with enough energy to kick out a couple of new swells over the next week or so. Look for a chest-shoulder high+ SW swell that moves in on Sunday/Monday (Aug 2-3) and then fades out slowly through the middle of next week. Further Out there is another storm brewing in a good portion of our swell window...check out the chart...

This storm will push out another chest-shoulder high S-SSW swell (180-200) that pushes in on Friday (Aug 7th) and holds through Saturday (Aug 8th) before fading slowly. Extreme long-range charts are showing a lot of tropical/sub-tropical energy mixing with higher latitude storms...which helps to energize and destabilize the storm track. Unfortunately there isn’t enough certainty to the forecast models to make a solid long-range call past the swell that hits on the 7-8th...but with the amount of activity occurring in the storm track I do expect at least 1-2 more playful sized swells before the middle of August.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
TS Lana formed over on the very edge of what is considered the NE tropical region...and then promptly drifted west towards Hawaii. No waves for us from her...

The rest of the NE Pacific tropics are looking fairly mellow...there are a couple of tropical waves (sort of like tropical disturbances that don’t have a lot form to them) but they are getting shut down by upper level sheer. Any changes are likely to occur after the weekend.


Ok gang...that is the first go at the Long-range forecast for the blog...let me know what you think. - Adam

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Surf for Friday – Smaller and still bumpy

Friday won’t be a surf day.

Oh it won’t be totally flat....there might be a couple of semi-rideable waves at the top spots...but dropping SW swell and steady eddy conditions will hamper shape and consistency. We are going to have a mix of fading SW swell (200-220) and a bit of weak local WNW windswell.

Average spots will be in the knee high range with rare waist high sets. Standout SW facing spots, again in South Orange County and Northern San Diego, will have a few waist high+ waves on inconsistent sets.

The wind will be the same sort of eddy conditions that we saw on Thursday. Mostly variable onshore for the majority of our beaches, with more southerly to southwesterly flow as you move into Orange County and San Diego County areas. Current wind models are showing the eddy developing pretty low and further off to sea than normal...which could be good (if the winds spinning off the eddy are light when they hit the coast) or bad (as the winds come more out of a SW direction that offers little protection for most beaches). Check out the COAMPS for tomorrow morning...

I would take it slow tomorrow morning...maybe do a wind/surf-cam check in the morning before spending time/money/gas getting to the beach. If you have to surf, and don’t mind a little bumpy crumblers, I would stick to the top SW spots since they will have a little more push to the sets.

Here are the tides...

01:19AM LDT 0.4 L
08:13AM LDT 3.3 H
11:55AM LDT 2.9 L
06:17PM LDT 5.2 H

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waves for Thursday – mostly leftovers

Thursday is sort of the fence of being a “surf day”.

On one hand there will still be a little mix of leftover SW swell (190-220) and weak WNW windswell in the water, the waters temps will be warm, and the beach air temps will be nice. On the other hand there will still be a bit of eddy texture and the tides stay a bit too high throughout the cleanest wind period in the morning.

Basically I am expecting rideable but sort of gutless, and slightly textured, knee-waist surf for most of the average spots on Thursday. A few of the top spots in South OC and Northern San Diego will have some inconsistent chest high sets, but will likely see the same gutless textured shape (just slightly bigger on the sets).

Winds will start off with the eddy flow...sort of light/variable through Ventura and the South Bay with some S flow/texture through OC and San Diego. The wind models aren’t as strong as they were for Wednesday but don’t count out a little bit of bump showing at the open beaches. WNW winds around 10-14 knots return in the afternoon. Here is a shot of the COAMPS model showing the winds around 7-8am...

I think that small wave gear is the best call tomorrow. If you have a spot with a little better SW exposure you might be able to get away with your normal board, but you will probably have more fun with fishy shapes or boards with a little more foam. Expect long waits between the bigger waves...and try to stick with spots that like a little bit more tide.

Here are the tides...

12:17AM LDT 0.8 L
07:04AM LDT 3.0 H
10:28AM LDT 2.7 L
05:19PM LDT 5.1 H

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – Lagging tonight

Wednesday will be a surf day…nothing great…but fun in the right places

We are going to see a mix of peaking SW swell (190-220) and some background WNW windswell. The swell is pretty inconsistent and really the whole ocean sort of feels like it is on “mute” or something after that last swell…so it is a little hard to get perspective on the waist-chest high swell we have showing right now.

Wednesday the surf is going to be around knee-waist high+ at the average SW facing spots…maybe a rare chest high set sneaking through at times. The standout SW facing spots, mostly through South Orange County and North San Diego, will be more in the waist-chest high range with a few inconsistent shoulder high sets mixing in on the lower tides.

Winds won’t be great…mostly they will be variable and on the light side in the morning but both wind models, NWS and COAMPS are showing some onshore flow, either from a increasing eddy or generalized onshore gradient. As I am writing this I am watching the eddy overcast clouds filter out the sunset, so I am leaning towards the eddy flow in the morning, hopefully it won’t get to strong tonight. Check out the models for the morning winds…



Your best bet tomorrow is going to be SW exposed spots that have a bit of protection from the wind. There will be some rideable waves at the more open spots but expect some texture there as well. I would probably stick with your small wave gear thanks to the inconsistency in the sets, that way you can get a few fun ones on the smaller waves between.

Here are the tides…

04:52AM LDT 2.8 H
09:08AM LDT 2.3 L
04:14PM LDT 5.0 H

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – More summer fun

Tuesday is going to be a surf day.

The leftovers from the weekend will still be dropping on Tuesday but the surf isn’t going to fade too far thanks to a new building SW swell (190-210). This new SW’er will be filling in through the morning, peaking later in the day, and then holding into Wednesday. There will also be a bit of WNW windswell (and some weak, longer-period, WNW energy) holding in the background.

Our surf is going to be a more manageable waist-chest high at the average spots, as well as a few bigger chest-shoulder high sets on the more favorable tides. The standout SW facing breaks, and good combo spots, will be in the chest-shoulder high range with a few inconsistent head high faces sneaking through.

Winds are going to be pretty decent on Tuesday. Look for light and variable to slightly southerly morning winds, with the cleanest conditions at spots with high-cliffs and kelp. A few of the really exposed beaches may have a bit of light texture. Afternoon winds return out of the WNW around 10-15 knots.

Now that the southern hemi swell isn’t steamrolling all of the combo windswell it looks like shape is starting to improve at the beach breaks. Points and reefs will likely continue to be the call from an overall shape standpoint but the beach breaks with exposure to both swells in the mix will be a good second choice. With the warm water, light winds, and still fun swell there isn’t a lot of reason no to get in the water tomorrow.

Here are the tides…

02:46AM LDT 3.2 H
08:17AM LDT 1.7 L
03:11PM LDT 5.0 H
10:51PM LDT 1.2 L

Friday, July 24, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – Big SSW holds into Saturday, Fades Sunday

Both Saturday and Sunday are going to be surf days.

The SSW swell (180-200) that peaked on Friday will continue to hold solid size into Saturday before slowly fading throughout Sunday. Look for NW windswell to continue to get squashed by the bigger southern hemi energy...but slowly strengthen as we head into early next week. Check out the CDIP from this morning...we don’t often see this many colors on it.

And here is the sideways forecast for the weekend.

On Saturday the surf will continue to be on the large side. We can expect most S facing breaks to see waves in the shoulder-overhead range with a few sets going overhead+ at times. The standout S facing breaks, mostly through Orange County, parts of North LA, and Northern San Diego, will have consistent overhead surf with sets going several feet overhead.

Sunday the surf will drop back to more manageable sizes. The average S facing spots will see surf in the chest-head high range while the standout breaks see mostly shoulder-head high surf with inconsistent sets still hitting the overhead mark, particularly through the morning low tides.

Winds look ok through the weekend. Cleanest conditions will be on Saturday...with mostly light and variable winds through most of the morning and building WNW winds 10-12 knots for the afternoon. Sunday looks slightly choppy as light westerly flow moves in through midmorning and WNW winds 10-15 knots move in through the afternoon.

Saturday Morning

Sunday Morning

Best bets shapewise are going to continue to be the points and reefs. The beach breaks are just walled up with a couple of short sections, and unless you have a jetski towing you back into the lineup, probably not very fun. By Sunday (and Monday) I would start to keep an eye on the beach breaks though...the dropping SSW swell and building windswell might help to open them up a bit.

Here are the tides...stay safe this weekend!

06:21AM LDT -0.4 L
12:42PM LDT 4.9 H
06:41PM LDT 1.3 L

12:23AM LDT 4.9 H
06:58AM LDT 0.3 L
01:26PM LDT 5.0 H
07:51PM LDT 1.3 L

Also...the one good thing about this swell being so hyped is that there are plenty of photos.

The Daily Bread blog has some good ones of SUP’ers riding the wedge this morning. (Probably not the brightest call.)

Here is the video off youtube...

Death at the Wedge - 7/24/09

I just read a story online at the OC Register that a bodysurfer (possibly a bodyboarder) was killed at the Wedge today.

According to the story he was thrown onto the jetty rocks and was badly injured. The Newport Beach Lifeguards were able to rescue him but he passed away later at Hoag Hospital.

Here is the link to the OC Register Article

Guys please be careful out there...I am just as stoked as the rest of you on getting some solid sized waves...but they are not worth getting hurt (or worse).

Forecast will be up in about an hour or so...

The Wedge - 7/24/2009

Here are a few beefy shots from the Wedge this morning as the swell was starting to peak.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Surf for Friday – Now with extra hype!

Friday will be a surf day...the most epic, awesome, radical, surf day of all time. Your head might literally explode if you surf tomorrow. (Ever see Scanners? Yeah it will be just like that.)

Surf is so epic...can’t. handle. it.

OK not really...I guess your head might explode in frustration of taking off on another walled up section, or at the size of the crowd, or somebody might run your head over causing it to explode...but I don’t think that the awesomeness of the surf is going to do it tomorrow.

The hype-machine that is grinding out stories on this swell has gone a bit overboard, (I know, I know...the irony of a surf forecaster calling a swell overhyped is not lost on me). It is never a good sign for the impending crowds when stories about the “monster swell” start popping up in my Google News page. Don’t get me wrong, this is a healthy swell, one of the bigger ones of the summer...but not a massive wall of water sent by King Neptune. Anyways...enough of my bitching about hype...I don’t want to be Debbie Downer when a lot of you have a decent chance at scoring a few good waves over the next couple of days...let’s get down to the nuts and bolts.

Friday will be a surf day.

The new SSW swell will start to peak and will have plenty of energy pushing through in the 17-18 second range throughout the day. NW windswell will make a small appearance on the buoys but will mostly get swallowed by the bigger Southern Hemi energy.

The biggest waves will be in Orange County, parts of North LA, and Northern San Diego. Look for the S facing beaches in those areas to have consistent shoulder-overhead sized surf with sets going a couple to a few feet overhead at times. The standout breaks, the handful of ones that really focus this SSW-long-period energy, will have some bigger sets.

Spots with less southerly exposure, the average combo breaks, or spots that are partially shadowed by the nearshore islands will be more reasonable in the shoulder-head high range with some of the best regional spots see some inconsistent overhead sets. Check out what a similar sized swell did in June. (pay less attention to the size of the swell on the model and more on where it hits along the coast)

Sort of needless to day but the non summer spots, the ones without Southerly exposure, will be fairly small...mostly knee-waist high off the local windswell mix.

Winds will be ok tomorrow. Mostly light and variable from the South Bay up through Santa Barbara, and slight southerly flow from Orange County down through San Diego. Expect a little texture for the areas that have the southerly flow but overall it will be clean. WNW winds 10-14 knots will fill in through the afternoon.

Points and reefs are definitely going to be the call tomorrow, but everyone pretty much knows this already, so expect some pretty heavy crowds at spots that can actually serve up a decent wave. Personally, since I am not much of a crowd guy, I would try and get a little creative with your surf spot tomorrow. There is enough energy, and enough of a tide swing, that a few spots that don’t break all that often might throw together a decent section. The exposed beach breaks are going to be walled up and sectiony, and the current will likely be a pain in the ass as well...try and hunt around for something that might break up the swell. Watch the negative low tide in the morning.

Have fun...stay are the tides

05:43AM LDT -1.0 L
12:01PM LDT 4.8 H
05:40PM LDT 1.3 L
11:30PM LDT 5.7 H

Swell Update – SSW’er filling in

While most of our Thursday morning surf is still leftover SW swell (190-210 from a swell that started to fill in on Tuesday)...the new SSW’er (180-200) is beginning to show in the background. Check out the Oceanside Buoy.

There are definitely some fun waves out there at the S-facing areas...the points and reefs are starting to get pretty fun looking (though the tide is starting to bog it down.) Beach breaks aren’t bad either...a few walls but still broken up enough to hit a section or two.

Check out the live feed from the US Open when you get a is nice to get a good (free) view of the beach over the interweb.

Anyway that swell will be building throughout the day...look for the peak of the swell to hit Friday and Saturday.

You can also go back and read my forecast for this swell, as well as some notes on where to expect the best shape as it peaks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Surf for Thursday – Slow start, but new SSW’er starts filling in

Thursday will be a surf day...but don’t expect big waves early in the morning.

Swellwise we can expect a mix of leftover SW swells and local NW-WNW windswell in the morning. There will be some long-period energy from the new Southern Hemi swell showing in the background but the forerunners won’t add a ton of size to the dawn patrol. In fact tomorrow morning will look a lot like this...

The SSW swell (180-200) will build and fill in throughout the day and will have some overhead sets showing at top S-facing spots by sundown.

Wave heights for the morning will average around waist-chest high. The standout S facing spots will have some shoulder high sets, particularly as the morning low tide starts to fill in and new energy builds in through the background.

By the afternoon/evening we can expect waist-shoulder high+ for most S exposed spots. Standout S facing breaks, like those in Orange County, North LA, and Northern San Diego, will be consistently in the shoulder-head high range with overhead sets mixing in at times.

As you can see the winds look pretty good through the morning, mostly light and variable, with a few really clean areas (like the South Bay, North LA, and Southern Ventura). San Diego and OC may have a little southerly flow...but I am expecting mostly clean conditions in those areas as well. Look for moderate WNW winds around 10-14 knots by the afternoon, but with semi-surfable shape in areas with high cliffs, structures, or kelp (something to knock down the wind.)

I think that tomorrow morning is going to start off a bit slow, even drained out and small in a few of the more protected areas. I would probably try and get a later start to your surf, let the tide come up, and the SSW swell to start building. I think that all types of spots, beach breaks, points, reefs, will all be about the same in the morning...but as the swell and the tide push in...the points and reefs will be the call (as they will likely be throughout the SSW swell as it peaks).

It is summer, so expect crowds, particularly since this swell has been in the forecast for a while now and is getting pretty hyped up. I saw an article in the LA Times today, which is never a good sign for the crowds. Cross your fingers that you might be able to find a few uncrowded corners out there over the next couple of days.

Here are the tides for Thursday...

05:04AM LDT -1.3 L
11:21AM LDT 4.6 H
04:44PM LDT 1.3 L
10:41PM LDT 6.3 H

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – small and clean

Wednesday is going to be a surf day...but the new SSW swell still won’t be here the sizes will continue to be on the small side.

We are going to have a mix of overlapping SW swells and some local WNW windswell. It will look a lot like Tuesday’s surf...maybe even a touch smaller.

Wave heights, on average, are going to hold around waist high for most spots. The better combo breaks and the well exposed SW facing spots will be around waist-chest high. A few of the best standouts, in areas like South OC and North SD, will have some inconsistent chest high+ sets on the tide push in the morning.

Winds look good...light and variable for the morning (maybe a bit of fog here and there). WNW winds 10-12 knots will push through in the afternoon. Afternoon winds may even be light enough that spots with something to block or knock down the wind, like high cliffs or kelp, will be clean enough to have a decent afternoon session.

While it will be clean and rideable on Wednesday it won’t be worth driving around a lot to look for surf. The waves will be pretty similar all over SoCal (for the most part) and the summer beach craziness is in full swing, which means crowds, blackball, crowds, US Open, bikinis (not really a bad thing), and the other nonsense. Not that I really blame anyone, have you seen how freaking hot it is inland?

Anyway, your best bet will be to find a little peak, or stretch of beach, that is sort of empty and try to get on it early with the low tide, before the madness sets in. Bring your summer small-wave board, and a thin suit/vest...the water is getting pretty nice in a lot of areas. (HB was at least 65-degrees today).

Also the CDIP 3-day forecast is starting to pick up that bigger swell for the end of the week. Check out the sideways forecast...I can hardly wait for my local beach break to turn into one long walled mess. Good times.

Here are the tides...if you live in the IE try not to catch on fire tomorrow.

04:25AM LDT -1.5 L
10:43AM LDT 4.3 H
03:51PM LDT 1.5 L
09:53PM LDT 6.8 H

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – Practice swell

Tuesday will be a surf day.

We will have a decent mix of SW swell (190-210) and some local windswell on Tuesday that work to put some playful surf into the exposed beaches. It won’t be great, or that consistent, but the mix of light winds and rideable waves will be a good reason to get in the water.

Wave heights are going to be around the waist-chest high range at most of the exposed spots...a little inconsistent at times but fun when it shows. The standout SW facing spots, mostly through South OC, North Los Angeles County, and Northern San Diego, will be in the chest-shoulder high range on the sets...again expect a little bit of a wait between sets.

Winds look good with light and variable conditions through morning. There may be a few pockets of fog texture as the big fog bank rolls in and out at times. WNW winds 10-12+14 knots will move in through the afternoon.

Basically it will be a pretty average surf day...small cross ups on the combo spots and a few decent little waves at the points/reefs...the surf will be pretty similar at most of the exposed areas so it won’t be worth driving around a ton. I would probably stick to your small-wave gear, fishy shapes or thicker boards, to get a little more out of the in-between sets. It will be a good day to get in the water shake the dust off before the bigger swell later this week (also a good time to scope out the sand bars to see what might work the best).

Here are the that low-tide in the early morning.

03:44AM LDT -1.5 L
10:05AM LDT 4.0 H
02:58PM LDT 1.8 L
09:05PM LDT 7.0 H

Swell Alert – Solid SSW swell for the end of the week

We have a solid SSW swell (180-200) heading to Socal later this week. Look for lots of long-period forerunners to start filling in through the day on Thursday and the peak of the swell arriving Friday and Saturday (July 24th and 25th).

There has been a lot of activity down in the Southern Hemisphere over the last couple of weeks. In general it was your standard SPAC winter storm activity...mostly zonal (west to east) flow with a few bursts of stronger action that would cough out some playful S-SW swell in our direction.

Late last week things started to get a little more interesting...we had a large intense area of low-pressure develop along the higher latitudes just as a very warm, very humid, low-pressure dive-bombed from the tropics/sub-tropics over by New Zealand. These two systems mixed over the weekend and we had legit storm, with consistent 40-50 knot winds, develop right in a key area of our swell window. The result is a nice SSW swell (180-200) heading our way for later this week.

Swell Timing and Sizes

Like I said above...the swell will start to arrive on Thursday July 23rd with some very long swell-periods. Current wave models are showing the swell hitting with some decent energy at 20+ seconds. I don’t expect a ton of new surf showing early on Thursday but it will definitely be increasing in both size and consistency throughout the day. I wouldn’t be surprised to see head high+ sets at the standout S facing breaks (particularly the ones that like long-period energy) by sundown.

By Friday, July 24th, the swell will start to peak (with 18- to 19-second swell-periods), and mix with some weak WNW windswell (not really enough to break it up). Average S facing spots can expect consistent shoulder-head high+ surf with bigger sets mixing in. Top S facing spots, in Orange County, North LA, and North San Diego, will be head high and overhead fairly consistently with sets going 2-3’ overhead on inconsistent bigger sets.

Saturday, July 25th, the SSW swell will continue to peak with sizes similar to lots of shoulder-overhead surf at the better summer spots and some overhead+ sets at the standout S facing spots.

Eventually the swell winds down on Sunday but plan on it sending plenty of fun surf into early next week. (More swell from the Southern Hemi will overlap and keep us in waves through the end of the month).

A few notes on this swell

I am expecting the points and reefs to be the call on this swell, there isn’t a lot of windswell forecast to be in the water when this the beach breaks will likely be pretty walled up and see lots of the lovely South-North current (if I wanted a trendmill so badly I would go to the gym). If you can’t surf a point/reef you might be able to find some workable sections off structures (like piers/jetties)...but I wouldn’t head to those areas unless you are out of other options.


This swell will hit Baja as nicely as it is hitting SoCal...Northern Baja will have very similar sizes and timing to SoCal. Southern Baja will have a little more size, consistency, and will see the swell hit about a day it will build in on Wednesday and peak Thursday/Friday/Saturday before backing down.

Ok that is all I have for now...check the daily forecast updates for more details as we get closer to the swell arriving.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Waves for the weekend – Playful and a touch cleaner

Hey gang....I am going to be away from the computer for a few days (non surf related) so this forecast is going out a bit early. The forecast will be back to its regularly scheduled randomness on Monday. Here are the nuts and bolts for the next few days.


Saturday is looking like a surf day...nothing stellar...but cleaner than what we had at the end of the week.

We are going to see a mix of holding SW swell (200-220), steady WNW windswell, and peaking SE swell (160-175+180) from Tropical Storm Dolores.

Average spots will be waist-chest high with some plus sets at the better combo spots and SE facing breaks. Top spots, particularly the good combo breaks, and the best SE facing spots, will be around chest-shoulder high...maybe even a couple of bigger waves on the lower tides. Looks like the biggest surf will be in the summer San Diego areas, Orange County summer standouts, and the better spots in North LA. (sort of what you should expect from SE-SW swells).

Winds will be cleaner in the morning...more light and variable conditions early but with a few pockets of bump here and there at the more exposed beaches. WNW winds around 10-15 knots move in through the afternoon.

Saturday Tides
01:33AM LDT -0.2 L
08:08AM LDT 3.2 H
12:02PM LDT 2.5 L
06:32PM LDT 6.1 H

Sunday and Monday

The mix of SW and WNW swell backs down slowly while the tropical SE swell drops out pretty fast.

Wave heights will continue in the waist-chest high range for many of the average spots...less consistent than Saturday. Top spots still see some chest-shoulder high sets but again the bigger sets will be less consistent. Expect smaller and less consistent surf on Monday.

Winds look clean in the morning on both days...light and variable with a hint of onshore flow through the early morning. WNW winds build in through midday and peak around 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

Here are the tides for Sunday/Monday

Sunday Tides
02:19AM LDT -0.8 L
08:50AM LDT 3.5 H
01:08PM LDT 2.3 L
07:26PM LDT 6.5 H

Monday Tides
03:03AM LDT -1.2 L
09:28AM LDT 3.7 H
02:05PM LDT 2.1 L
08:16PM LDT 6.9 H

Have a great weekend everyone!

Surf for Friday – building but with more wind

Friday with have waves but conditions will keep it from being much of a surf day.

Wave heights continue to build on Friday but increasing onshore winds will hamper shape from early-midmorning on.

Swellwise we are going to see a small, peaking SW swell (200-220), building WNW windswell, and building SE swell from Tropical Storm Dolores.

Wave heights are going to be in the waist-chest high range at most exposed spots on Friday. The combo beaches are going to see the most consistency early in the day but the S-SE facing spots will see consistency build through the afternoon as the tropical swell fills in.

The standout S, SW, and top combo spots will be around chest high on the average sets...but will have some shoulder high+ waves coming through by the end of the day (though it will be hard to find a spot clean enough to really surf by then as well).

Winds are going to be problematic again...this variable onshore flow that we have seen the last couple of days will actually strengthen more on Friday. I still expect some semi-clean conditions around sun-up, with building onshore flow by midmorning and continuing through the afternoon. Look for variable-W winds around 4-5 knots through the morning. WNW winds 10-15 knots will push through by the afternoon.

It will be Friday, it will be sunny/warm weatherwise, and there is a little building swell in the water...even though shape won’t be that great it will at least be worth giving it a look if you live close by. I wouldn’t drive very far for the surf... unless you are planning on just hanging out near the beach all day anyways. This onshore bump is getting sort of ridiculous...I am getting ready to sell my kidney for some slightly offshore winds for 18 hours.

Here are the tides...

12:40AM LDT 0.6 L
07:08AM LDT 2.8 H
10:44AM LDT 2.4 L
05:36PM LDT 5.7 H

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thursday’s Surf – A little bigger but still fugly

So the surf will come up slowly throughout the day on Thursday...but local winds and the tides will conspire against us having a surf day.

Our swell will be a mix of slowly building and overlapping SW swells (200-220) and increasing local WNW windswell.

Wave heights are going to be in the waist high range at most of the average spots. The better S-SW facing spots will be more in the waist-chest high range on inconsistent sets. The standout SW facing spots and the best combo breaks will have some inconsistent shoulder high sets. It is going to be fairly inconsistent expect some longer waits between waves.

The wind looks like it is going to mess with us tomorrow. Forecast models are calling for mostly light winds in the morning...but with a steady westerly onshore tint to them. Likely we are going to have light/variable winds along the coast but with that fugly sickness/bump to the ocean thanks to the stronger winds further off the coast. The real onshores will pick up early and should come in out of the W-WNW around 10-12 knots by the afternoon.

Overall I am not expecting much out of the surf tomorrow...yeah it will be bigger, particularly at the SW facing spots by the afternoon, but the winds and tides are going to jack up most of our shape/conditions. Your best bet, if you have to surf, would be to get on it early and try to capitalize on the lower tides (the tide doesn’t get very low on Thursday though) and lighter morning winds...the swell won’t be doing all the well in the morning but it should be better than the shapeless high-tide crumblers that will be on tap for the afternoon.

Here are the tides...

05:22AM LDT 2.6 H
09:26AM LDT 2.2 L
04:38PM LDT 5.2 H

Tropical Update: TS Dolores

We have another new tropical storm...TD 5E formed up late last night, and by midmorning here on Wednesday it had become Tropical Storm Dolores.

Currently TS Dolores is holding approximately 1200 miles SE of Southern California and about 700 miles SSW of the tip of Baja. She is moving WNW (310) around 10-11 knots and is expected to intensify into a strong Tropical Storm over the next 24 hours. Long-range forecasts are showing TS Dolores hitting colder water (and some wind shear) after that 24 hours...but conditions are shifting that may allow her to stay more intense for a longer-period, which would be much better for us wavewise.

At this point TS Dolores is already in SoCal’s SE swell window...and is doing a few “good-things” that help swell production.

1. She is intensifying...(you always want the storm to get stronger or at minimum, hold strength)

2. She is a decent sized storm with almost 200 miles of 34+ knot winds in the NE and SE side of the system (the side that produces swell for us.)

3. She is moving roughly NW-WNW at a moderate pace. (The closer she can get to moving directly at us the more energy she will send out.)

4. Finally she isn’t too far...1200 miles is a reasonable distance...not great...but not as bad as it could be.

I do wish the storm was a bit stronger...and moving a bit more to the NW...but as it is I am still expecting some swell from Dolores.

Baja Sur will get waves from this Tropical Storm...I expect some S-SSW swell (180-190) to start showing at the exposed Pacific Side spots around the 16-17th with wave heights in the chest-shoulder high range for many spots and some bigger sets at the standouts.

SoCal will see this swell start to show through the day on the 17th strengthening towards the evening. Based on today’s forecasts the peak of the swell will be through the 18-19th. The swell will be more SE-S (165-180) for our expect some shadowing at the start. Wave heights are going to be in the waist-chest high range at the average spots. Standout SE-S facing areas will be more consistently in the chest-shoulder high range with some bigger sets.

Naturally we could see some bigger waves for all areas if TS Dolores intensifies past the current forecasts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – A few gutless small ones

Wednesday is not looking like a surf day.

It will be rideable, with maybe a couple of “ok” pockets but the lack of swell and increasing winds will hamper shape in the morning and the building tide and gusty afternoon winds will kill in by the end of the day.

Swellwise we will have a mix of new energy out there...some new SW swell (200-220), some weak tropical S swell from Carlos (who just won’t die on his way to Hawaii), and some building local NW windswell.

Despite the mix of swells there just isn’t a ton of energy in the water and that is going to translate to small surf. On average the sort-of exposed spots will be around knee high with some inconsistent waist high sets. The better breaks will be more consistently around waist high. The standout breaks will be waist-chest high on the better tides.

The winds look a little sloppy tomorrow...both the COAMPS and the NWS models are calling some building W winds in the morning. I think it may start clean around sun-up but the texture should start building by mid-morning. Expect W winds around 5-8 knots by midmorning and more bump in the 10-15 knot range by the afternoon.

Overall I am expecting more of the gutless waves we have been riding for the last couple of days...sort of workable if the tide is low, or if you have the right gear, but frustrating at times due to the lack of push. Look for the biggest surf through the best exposed areas of San Diego and Orange County but don’t drive very far for the might as well save your gas money for some better waves.

Here are the tides...

03:05AM LDT 2.8 H
08:31AM LDT 1.8 L
03:41PM LDT 4.8 H
11:32PM LDT 1.2 L