Monday, August 31, 2009

Tuesday’s Surf – mostly leftovers

Tuesday will be rideable but I think that the lack of swell and high tides will keep it from being a surf day.

We are going to have a mix of NW energy (290-300 and a combo of local windswell as well as some weak medium period energy), some background SW swell (200-220) and some weak tropical S swell (180-190) from former TS Kevin.

Wave heights for tomorrow look a bit on the small side. Lots of the average breaks will be in the knee-waist high range...and fairly soft/close to shore on the shape. The standout combo breaks, mostly through San Diego and Southern Ventura, will be around waist-chest high on the sets...maybe a rare plus set sneaking in on the lower tides. Long waits and mush-mush shape will be the norm.

Winds look ok...maybe slightly eddish in the morning. The forecast models are calling for some patchy (but thick) fog to form up overnight as things sort of cool off. The fog looks like it might spin up some southerly winds...sort of variable to light S...through San Diego and OC. It should be lighter further north but I would plan for a touch of onshore texture for spots up there as well if the fog gets a good foothold. Afternoon winds will be WNW around 10-12 knots...but watch for them to back off later in the evening.

It won’t be good enough to spend a lot of time hunting down surf tomorrow...the weaker swell and the tides will keep so many spots on the soft side that it might be hard to motivate for close to shore crumblers. I would bring a board that works with small soft waves, even at the top spots...the extra foam or fishy shape will help you have a little more fun. If you live near a standout region you might be able to slip out really early and take advantage of the super early morning low tide...nautical twilight is around 5:30am (actual sunrise is 6:30am)...there might be a little wiggle room on the shape if you can motivate...but remember that you are motivating for small leftovers.

02:38AM LDT 0.0 L
08:55AM LDT 4.1 H
02:10PM LDT 2.1 L
08:03PM LDT 5.5 H

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 8/31/2009

Forecast Overview

Not a super exciting week on tap...we are going to see a mix of short-period NW swell, some minor SW swell, and some weak tropical swell, all of which will hang around for the next few days. Our surf will be on the small/inconsistent side for most areas, with a few more-rideable sets at the standout combo breaks.

Short Range (next 3 days)

We are going to see a mix of leftover NW energy (290-300), some minor S-SW energy (200-220) from the southern hemisphere, and some weak tropical energy from former tropical storm Kevin. Wave heights at the average spots won’t be very big...mostly knee-waist high and buried by the higher tides at times. The standout NW facing spots, and good combo breaks, will have some rare chest high sets that will be more consistent on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Looks like we are going to see some slight eddy conditions through the morning. Some patchy fog and light/variable to light southerly winds will be on tap for areas from LA down through San Diego. Santa Barbara and Ventura will have more variable onshore texture from the WNW-NW. Look for NW winds 10-14 knots on tap through the afternoon.

Not many changes on tap for Wednesday...our swell mix will continue to be on the weak/mushy side as some steady, but steeply angled NW swell mixes with background SW swell and weak tropical S-SSW swell. We will continue to see knee-waist high waves at the average spots while the standout combo spots see some waist-chest high waves on inconsistent sets. A few of the better NW windswell spots may have some slightly bigger sets. Winds/Weather: The slight eddy conditions continue...not bad, but enough to keep the morning from being completely clean. Look for variable onshore texture for most spots in the morning and then building NW-WNW winds 10-14 knots for the afternoon.

The mix of NW short/medium swell, weak SW swell, and fading tropical swell, continues to send in a few small waves. The knee-waist high waves continue at most of the average exposed breaks. Standouts, mostly through San Diego and Ventura, see some chest high sets on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Looks cleaner in the morning...mostly light and variable through the dawn patrol. Look for building onshore WNW-NW winds 10-15 knots by the afternoon.


North Pacific
Well after the “teaser” WNW swell that we had fill in over the weekend it looks like the NPAC is slipping back into a more summertime pattern. There is still a touch of activity up in the higher-latitudes but none of the storms are forecast to slip low enough that they can get into our swell window. Looks like we might see some very weak NW pulses arriving on Sept 6th and another on the 8-9th...both of these swells look like they will mix in with increasing local windswell, so it will be hard to separate out sizes. Likely we are going to see waist-chest high surf at the average NW facing spots, and some slightly more consistent chest high+ waves at the top spots as these swells mix together.

South Pacific
Not much happening in the South Pacific over the last few days. High-pressure has been blocking most of our swell-window while storm activity has been gathering strength over New Zealand. At this point not much has pushed out into open there hasn’t been much swell least nothing significant. Basically we can expect some minor S-SW pulses over the next few days...but nothing that will really break through the waist high+ mark in most areas. Further out there is a new mid-latitude storm that has set up a fun-sized S-SW swell (190-210) for around the 8-9th. This one looks good for waist-chest high surf for the better exposed spots...and maybe a few chest high+ sets at the standouts. Even further out there is still a solid knot of storm activity around NZ that could pop loose in the next few days. The charts aren’t really stoking me out at this point but it does bear watching...I will let you know if anything pulls together.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
Over the weekend we had 2 new tropical storms form up. Tropical Storm Kevin, who was located sort of S-SSW of Socal...and TS Jimena who formed up just off the Central Coast of Mainland Mexico.

As of today Kevin has been downgraded to a tropical depression and is heading towards being a remnant low-pressure...before he goes I am expecting a touch of S-SSW tropical swell from him. That energy is filling in today and will hold small knee-waist high+ waves at the well-exposed spots through Wednesday before fading completely away.

Jimena on the other hand is now a very strong Hurricane (estimated CAT 4 as of today) and she is grinding her way to southern Baja. Unfortunately she hasn’t been able to crack into the SoCal swell window...just skirted the wrong side of the swell shadow...and it looks like she is going to recurve back into Southern Baja without ever setting up waves for Southern California. Baja Sur will get blasted by surf, but the weather is going to turn bad quickly...the National Hurricane Center is issuing Hurricane Warnings for most of Baja Sur which means that there is a high-probability of hurricane winds/weather hitting an area within 24-hours. Check out the latest forecast for Jimena...looks pretty ugly for Baja Sur...cross your fingers that she won’t hit the area super hard...good luck if you are down there.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009

- Adam Wright

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monday’s Surf – Clean but fading

Monday looks like a surf day…nothing great…but clean conditions and lingering swell activity will keep it rideable.

We are going to see a mix of leftover S-SW energy, some fading NW swell (290-300+) and some small tropical S-SW background energy.

Most spots will be in the knee-waist high range with a few rare chest high sets sneaking through at the average combo spots. The best exposed areas, mostly in San Diego, parts of OC, and Ventura, will have some waist-chest high waves with less consistent shoulder high sets off the mix of swells. The biggest and most consistent surf will be at the combo breaks.

Winds look good for the morning…light and variable to light offshore for almost all spots. There will be a fog bank in a few areas but it shouldn’t tweak the wind in the morning too much. Look for building WNW winds around 10-12 knots by the afternoon.

So like I said…it will be surfable tomorrow but it isn’t going to have a lot of pop to it. The mostly fading or small swells will be rideable but they are going to have to try and force their way through a 4’ high tide that peaks midmorning, which is going to keep it soft and inconsistent for a lot of areas. I think that your best bet will be to find a spot that either likes the higher tides or has a lot of sand…the combo spots that can do both will be the most consistent.

Here are the tides…

02:11AM LDT 0.2 L
08:38AM LDT 3.9 H
01:37PM LDT 2.4 L
07:29PM LDT 5.3 H

Tropcial Update – Tropical Storm Kevin and Hurricane Jimena

Man I leave computer range for a couple of days and the whole tropical region has to get all squirrelly on me…(hmmm maybe I should leave more often…sort of like a human sacrifice). Anyhoo while I was gone we got not one, but two new tropical systems; Tropical Storm Kevin and Hurricane Jimena.

Right now TS Kevin is a relatively weak tropical storm with winds holding around 35 knots and few gusts around 40 knots, which puts him right over tropical depression strength. Since he is inside our swell window, and sort-of organized (showing some convection), I think that we will see some swell from Kevin…t also helps that his storm track is taking him almost directly at us. I am not expecting a lot of surf…just a weak pulse of S-SSW swell (180-190) that arrives on September 1st and sends some minor knee-chest high waves into exposed areas…the swell should linger for a couple of days but unless he gets a lot stronger we aren’t going to a ton of surf from him.

Hurricane Jimena looks a bit more bad-ass. Right now she is about 500-600 miles SE of the Tip of Baja and has already reached Category 2 strength, with core winds around 120-knots and gusts nearing 145-knots. Her current track is taking her WNW around 7-10 knots...and the hurricane models are forecasting her to recurve back into Southern Baja as she intensifies. (The NHC is likely to issue a Hurricane Watch in Southern Baja for Jimena later tonight or tomorrow).

Unfortunately for Southern California Jimena is not in our swell window…and is not forecast to reach it before making landfall.

She will however be a wave-maker for Southern Baja, parts of Northern Mainland Mexico, and even a few of those protected spots in the Gulf of California. Swell from Jimena will be filling in today and should continue to build over the next couple of days as she continues to intensify. Sizewise it is going to be well-overhead as it peaks, and potentially very dangerous (as well as potentially very stormy) since the storm will be moving into the area.

I think it would be quite risky to head into the area to try and get surf from Jimena…I would maybe stick it out for an extra day if I was already down at an exposed spot (unless authorities told me to leave of course), but heading down, and likely arriving as the hurricane does, won’t be the best call. Even if the hurricane doesn’t make landfall right on top of you, there are always heavy rains and flash floods that can be very dangerous.

The track for Jimena isn’t set in stone…cross your fingers that she drifts a bit more west and swings wide in her recurve.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Surf for Friday – Adding a touch more size to the forecast

Friday will be another surf day...and I am going to revise my long-range forecast from this morning and add a little bit more size to tomorrow.

I am looking at the buoys this afternoon and it looks like the tropical swell from Ignacio is coming in a little bigger than I was thinking...not a ton...but enough that I think that our sizes from Thursday will continue into Friday, particularly at the S facing breaks.

So for tomorrow we can expect a mix of slowly fading, but still healthy S swell (180-190), continuing tropical S-SW swell (180-200) from Ignacio, and some very background NW windswell. Check out the current CDIP breakdown...

Santa Barbara

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego

Surfwise we can expect the average S-facing spots to be in the chest-shoulder high range. The better S facing spots will be more consistently in the shoulder-head high range on sets. Look for the standouts, mostly through Orange County, to be in the shoulder-overhead range on sets...pretty consistent through the morning.

Winds look good for the early morning...more of the light/variable to light offshore during the dawn patrol. Look for variable onshore texture starting to creep in around midmorning and increasing out of the WNW 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

I think that the S-facing points and reefs are going to be the call again tomorrow. The beach breaks will continue to be a bit walled up...but with the shorter swell periods on the mix of swells I think that they will be a bit more makeable if the sand is good, or they have something to break up the swell. I would try and get on it early again, mostly because of the winds. The tides are a bit funky tomorrow...we don’t see much of a you might want to keep the hunt focused at spots that can handle a little more water.

Here are the tides. Hope you guys score a few...

07:32AM LDT 3.3 H
10:17AM LDT 3.2 L
04:47PM LDT 4.7 H

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 8/27/2009

Forecast Overview

Fading S swell on tap for the next couple of days but our surf continues to look fun. New, but small tropical swell from Ignacio keeps the Southern Hemi energy from dropping too fast and a new NW swell (290-300) moves in over the weekend and will set up some combo peaks at the best exposed breaks.

Short Range (next 3 days)

The S swell (180-190) will be winding down but there will continue to be plenty of playful waves at the top spots as a mix of background NW windswell and some weak tropical S-SSW energy from TS Ignacio strengthens slightly. Most spots exposed spots will be in the waist-shoulder high range on the lower tides. Top S facing breaks will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some inconsistent head high sets. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds through the morning, even light offshore near passes and canyons. Winds come onshore around 10-12 knots through the afternoon and may lay down a bit by sundown.

Saturday looks pretty fun, we are going to have a mix of fading S swell (180-190), some new NW swell (285-300+), and some steady tropical S-SW swell (180-200) from Ignacio. None of the swells are particularly big but the well exposed spots will see some nice combo type conditions. Look for the average spots to be in the waist-chest high range, better and more consistent on the lower tides. The top combo spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some rare shoulder-head high sets coming through off the mix of energy. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds through the morning, even light offshore near passes and canyons. Winds come onshore around 10-12 knots through the afternoon and may lay down a bit by sundown.

Expect fun but smaller and less consistent surf on Sunday. The S swell (180-190) will be backing down to leftovers, and the tropical swell will likely be backing off a bit as well. The NW swell (290-300) will still be in the water but it will be dropping out as well. Look for most spots to hold in the waist-chest high range while the top combo spots hold around chest high with some less consistent shoulder high sets. Winds/Weather: winds will be a touch stronger on Sunday. Look for variable winds in the morning, mostly light but with a couple of pockets of texture. WNW winds 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.


North Pacific
So we had decent little storm roll through the Gulf of Alaska the last couple of days. Not a real “winter” size swell or anything but pretty good considering that we are still in August. It doesn’t look like much is going to follow it though…high pressure starts to ridge back up across our storm track, and even though there is one more little low around the Aleutians it doesn’t look like the high is going to let it set up fetch in our swell window. So for the long-range outlook it looks like one little teaser pulse of WNW energy that fades out by the end of the weekend and then weak leftovers on tap after that.

South Pacific
We have had a nice run of S-SSW swell for the past few days and enough of its energy (backed by some tropical S-SW swell) will hold into the upcoming weekend for us to ride some playful waves. Further out it looks like things are going to quiet down for the first week of September…high pressure is blocking out most of the storms right now, and that gap of energy will arrive through that first week. Fortunately the long-range charts continue to show a few really large looking storms swirling around New Zealand and Antarctica in the next 4-5 days…if they pull together we should start seeing new S-SSW swell (180-200) arriving around the 9th of September with more on tap after that. These systems are a few days from forming…so I will have a lot more details in the next long-range forecast.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
The tropics are getting active again…possibly enough to help fill in the gap of Southern Hemi swell we have lining up for next week. Ignacio has been downgraded to a tropical depression (and sent a few waves our way)…but there are 2 new tropical disturbances that could pop into something more organized in a couple of days. Check them out…

Nothing to get super excited about yet…but worth keeping an eye on the region at least.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, August 31, 2009

- Adam Wright

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random forecast update – North Pacific, wait what?

So remember when, about 5 minutes ago, I was saying that that it felt like someone flicked the weather switch to “fall”…well apparently they also pushed the NPAC button too.

Check it out…our first semi-legit looking storm in the North Pacific Storm track in quite a while…and hey it even has winds inside our swell window.

That image is from the QuikSCAT satellite…so this storm is happening right now, which means the NW-WNW exposed spots will be picking up some waves from this early season storm by this weekend. It won’t be huge or anything but it does look like it will be a rideable swell. It will help that the swell will get reinforced by local windswell that pops up through the afternoon as it shows.

Here is another shot of the storm on the NOAA sats…

If you watch the storm in actual movement you will see that it isn’t a great swell maker for Socal (at this point). Most of the winds are going very North to South on the backside of the storm, which means that the swell will go North to South instead of WNW like we want it too.

Fortunately there are some winds lining up for our region…at this point I am expecting new WNW-NW swell (290-300+) to start moving into SoCal on Saturday, hitting the Northern Counties (Ventura) starting in the morning and then filling in further South (South Bay, North OC, and San Diego) later in the afternoon. Look for the exposed areas to see surf in the waist-chest high range…while the standouts, biggest in South San Diego, see some chest-shoulder high sets…as this swell peaks. The better combo breaks, that will still have a bit of leftover S swell, could see some fun shape as this swell mixes in.

Hopefully this storm will strengthen more over the next day or so…just so we can see some more size…but even if it doesn’t it is still nice to see some NPAC action. There might even be another little NPAC spinner brewing up over the Aleutians…

Surf for Thursday – S-swell, Rinse and Repeat

Thursday will be another surf day.

The S swell (180-190) will continue on Thursday and NW windswell will start to pulse up a bit at the well exposed spots. The Southern Hemi swell will continue to offer up fun surf to the exposed areas but the overall swell period will be starting to shorten up, which will likely make the bigger sets less consistent.

Average exposed spots (s-facing) will be in the chest-shoulder high range but with some inconsistent head high sets still mixing in on the lower tides. The standout S facing spots, mostly in Orange County but at a few of the other S facing spots as well, will be in the shoulder-head high range on sets with a few overhead waves still showing at times. Look for some more rare overhead+ sets at the top spots through the morning on the lower tides…and then getting less consistent as the swell drops slowly and the tides come up through the afternoon.

Winds look good in the morning…I feel like over the last couple of days someone shifted the switch from “summer” to “fall”…not sure if it will last, but for right now it means cleaner morning conditions. Look for light and variable to light-offshore for most spots in the morning. WNW winds 10-15 knots build in fast around midday and look pretty stiff by the afternoon. Check out the COAMPS forecast for the morning…it is a little optimistic, but it is nice to see wind going offshore on any chart.

Like the last few days the points and reefs will continue to be the best call shapewise…there still isn’t enough combo energy to break up the bigger S swell…so the beach breaks look a bit walled up, particularly through the morning lower tides. I think it will be worth driving a little further than normal tomorrow morning, the decent winds and the steady S swell will be pretty fun…I would try to get on it early before the tides and the wind start to kill it.

Here are the tides…

05:36AM LDT 3.0 H
07:49AM LDT 2.9 L
03:19PM LDT 4.7 H
11:49PM LDT 0.9 L

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Waves for Wednesday – Now with more S-swell

Wednesday will be a surf day...plenty of S swell and light morning winds...hmmmmm surf.

The S-SSW swell (180-190+200) continues to roll through on Wednesday as it mixes with some small NW windswell.

Wave heights will continue to run in the chest-shoulder high+ range for most of the average exposed spots. The top S-facing spots will see surf in the shoulder-head high range with overhead sets mixing in at times. The best S-swell focus spots will have some occasional bigger sets mixing in...going overhead+ on the biggest waves.

Winds will be good tomorrow...mostly light and variable through the morning with clean conditions for most areas. Look for building WNW winds around 10-14 knots build in through the afternoon.

Like I said will be a surf day tomorrow. You are going to want to get on it earlier in the morning to take advantage of the lower tides and light winds. Like the last couple of days the points and reefs will be the best call shapewise but you will be able to find a few corners at the beach breaks with solid sandbars or something (pier/jetty/rock) to break up the S lines. Orange County will have the biggest waves...but the other exposed areas will be pretty fun as well, just make sure to stick to spots that like the more southerly swell angles...winter spots will be small. Also watch that swamp-thing high tide in the is going to burger out a lot of breaks.

Here are the tides

02:41AM LDT 3.1 H
07:09AM LDT 2.4 L
02:04PM LDT 4.9 H (swampy!)
10:16PM LDT 1.1 L

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tropical Update – Tropical Storm Ignacio

Tropical Depression 12e strengthened into Tropical Storm Ignacio this evening.

TS Ignacio is currently located about 650 miles SW of the tip of Baja and is in the S-SSE swell window for Southern California. Right now Ignacio isn’t a huge storm…core wind speeds are holding around 40-knots with some 50-knot gusts...and the good parts of fetch, the ones that are aiming towards SoCal are about 50-60 miles across.

Still he is going to be intensifying, at least according to forecasts, and could become a fairly intense tropical storm…he is not expected to reach hurricane strength at this time. You can see the convection (the cloud rotation) around the low in this satellite photo…

The more convection we see, and the more Ignacio looks like a hurricane, the better it is for swell production.

Another good factor…is his storm track…current forecasts have him moving WNW (290-degrees) at about 10-knots. This WNW path is actually supposed to steepen as he intensifies, which means that the stronger parts of the storm will be better aligned toward SoCal and could potentially be better for setting up swell.

From a surf standpoint I think that we will get some waves from Ignacio…nothing huge…but enough to ride. It looks like the first S swell (180) will arrive from Ignacio on Thursday. Since there will still be plenty of Southern Hemi swell in the water I don’t know that we are going to really be able to tell that the tropical swell is showing. Based on today’s forecast it looks like any energy from Ignacio would peak as we head into Saturday, hopefully the tropical energy will help prop up wave heights from our fading Southern Hemi…and keep us in consistent, but playful sized (chest-shoulder high) surf through the upcoming weekend.

Surf for Tuesday – S-SSW swell continues

Tuesday will be another surf day.

The S-SSW swell (180-200) will continue on Tuesday, with a touch of NW windswell filling in through the background (probably not enough to break up the Southern Hemi though). The swell will hold solid through the day and slowly turn more southerly in swell direction.

Wave heights will continue to average around chest-head high at the average exposed areas. Make sure to really look at the CDIP map...there are some shadowed areas like parts of Northern LA as you get closer to Santa Monica, as well as some of the North/Central SD areas (there is a gap from La Jolla on up to about Oceanside)...those shadowed areas are going to be smaller/less consistent than the “average areas”.

The standout S facing breaks, mostly through Orange County (and in a few other spots as well), will be more consistently in the shoulder-head high range with overhead sets mixing in...sometimes going overhead+ on the lower tides. The 5’+ midday high tide has been causing some shape issues as try to plan around that if you can.

Winds will be ok...not great...but not all that bad either. Expect variable onshore winds below the 4-5 knots. Areas that can usually knock down the wind (with kelp or high cliffs) will be the cleanest. Look for WNW winds 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

Points and reefs are going to continue to have the best shape tomorrow...the open beach breaks are still a bit walled up, surfable but not as fun as spots that can string together more makeable sections. It seems like the first part of this swell has been a bit inconsistent on the bigger waves...but there is still more energy on the way in, so hopefully we will be able to squeeze more consistency out of it over the next couple of days. are going to want to stay away from the high tide...that thing has been swamp-thing-ing shape like nobody’s business.

Here are the tides...

01:10AM LDT 3.6 H
06:38AM LDT 1.8 L
01:10PM LDT 5.2 H (swamp thing!)
08:38PM LDT 1.1 L

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 8/24/2009

Forecast Overview
More S-SW swell (180-200) piles in on the energy that peaked over the weekend and helps to keep overhead surf at the summer spots through Thursday before starting to slowly back off. Chance for a small NW swell to move in and cross up the S-SW’er by next weekend.

Short Range (next 3 days)

The S-SW swell (180-200 with still some more SW’erly energy in the background) will peak. Most spots will be in the chest-head high range. The standout S-SW facing spots, mostly in Orange County, the exposed areas of North LA, and Northern San Diego, will see consistent shoulder-overhead sets with some occasional bigger sets going a couple of feet overhead at times. Winds/Weather: Variable onshore through the morning but staying light overall. Look for slight texture with winds around 3-4 knots at the more exposed areas. NW winds 10-15 knots build in through the afternoon.

The S-SW’er (180-200) will continue to peak with consistent chest-head high surf at the average exposed areas. The standout S facing breaks will continue to see consistent shoulder-overhead sets with bigger waves mixing in. NW facing spots will be much smaller, holding closer to the knee-high+ range. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds through the morning with mostly clean conditions in most areas. Look for building WNW winds 10-14 knots filling in through the afternoon.

The S-SW swell (180-200) will start to slowly run out of steam…but playful surf will continue as it fades. We can still expect surf in the chest-shoulder high range at the average/above average S facing spots. The standout breaks will be more in the shoulder-head high range on sets but with a few inconsistent overhead waves mixing in through the morning. Look for slowly fading size and consistency as we move through the afternoon. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds through the morning with mostly clean conditions in most areas. Look for building WNW winds 10-14 knots filling in through the afternoon.


North Pacific
Hmmm….this ocean is starting to look a bit more interesting all of a sudden. Forecast charts are showing the EPAC high-pressure starting to break down and shift slightly off to the west…as it does it is allowing some more storm development up in the Gulf of Alaska. I am still leery about getting too excited about early-season action…so I am not expecting a ton of the weak storms I am starting to see on the charts. That being said we can’t totally count it out until we see what really forms…so based on today’s charts it looks like a weak WNW-NW swell (290-300) lining up with waist-chest high surf at the standout winter spots around the 29-30th. Check out the storm on the forecast charts…it has good positioning but you have to be careful that the wind model isn't overcalling the intensity, particularly through the early part of a storm season.

South Pacific
We have the consistent and good sized S-SW swell mix that is going to hold on through most of the week. Look for average S facing spots to move into the shoulder-head high range while the standout S facing spots see consistent shoulder-overhead sizes and some less consistent sets going a couple of feet overhead. Some of the best deepwater breaks, the ones that focus the S swell, will have some bigger sets at times. This swell will start to slowly fade out on Friday and continue to back down through next weekend.

Further Out the SPAC is going a little quiet…not totally shutting down but not kicking out anything as big/consistent/or lengthy as our current run of swell. Currently I am not seeing a ton of good looking fetch for our area...but there are a couple of minor swells that will push through during the beginning of September. Look for a weak SSW swell (180-190) moves in around the 2nd…and another SSW’er possible around the 5-6th. Both of these look like knee-chest high swells (at the top spots)…so nothing to really get excited about. I don’t think this ocean is going to stay quiet for very long…a large looking system is showing a waaaays out on the charts…it is actually tearing up a lot of Southern Australia and New Zealand right now, but it will take several days to actually move into our swell window. Cross your fingers that it comes out blasting.

Northeast Pacific Tropics
New activity in the tropics as well…we have a large, partially organized, disturbance just to the SW of the tip of Baja. Current NHC forecasts are calling for this to become a tropical depression in the next 24 hours…with a high probability of becoming a named storm in the next 48 hours. With my luck it will be a named storm by dinner time and I will have to re-write all my forecasts. Sometimes I hate the tropics. Here are a couple of images of the disturbance.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009

- Adam Wright

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Surf for Monday – S-SW swell starts to peak

Monday is looking like a surf day.

The second shot of S-SSW swell (180-200) will be moving in and mixing with the SW’er (200-220) that peaked over the weekend. We will see those swells working together (as well as a touch of local windswell) to increase size and the consistency of the surf. Check out the CDIP’er this afternoon…lots more colors showing that usual.

And the Oceanside Buoy from this afternoon.

The surf tomorrow is going to be decent size for many areas…lots of the average exposed spots will be in the chest-head high range. The standout S-SW facing areas will have surf in the shoulder-head high range with overhead sets fairly consistently as the swell gets going. Those standout areas will even have a few bigger waves going a couple of feet overhead as sets sneak through. The biggest surf will be at the summer spots in Orange County, the exposed parts of San Diego, and the best exposed areas of Northern LA.

Winds look ok…sort of light and unstable through the morning. Not quite eddy but getting close. Look for variable to clean conditions through Ventura/LA…and then slight onshore texture through Orange County…with more bump at the exposed beaches down in San Diego. It shouldn’t be more that 5 knots in the morning…but there is a lot of residual energy in the water that isn’t going to let it get super clean...sort of like morning sickness that doesn't go away. The usual WNW winds 10-14 knots moves through in the afternoon.

So for tomorrow…definitely expect a bit more size and consistency that we saw over the weekend. Sets should be a little meatier, and I expect the beach breaks to be more closed out. Points and reefs will continue to be the best call shapewise, but look for a few makeable sections off the structures (piers/jetties/rocks/sunken pirate ships) if you need a break from the crowd. Have a good one…lots of waves on tap this week…don’t burn out too early.

Here are tides

12:09AM LDT 4.4 H
06:08AM LDT 1.2 L
12:27PM LDT 5.4 H
07:21PM LDT 0.9 L

Friday, August 21, 2009

Waves for the Weekend – Building Southern Hemi swell

Both Saturday and Sunday will be surf days...winds may not completely cooperate but there will still be plenty of waves at the exposed spots.

Swellwise our SW swell (200-220) is already filling in pretty steady here on Friday and our waves will continue to build through the weekend as more S-SW swell energy continues to pile on. Check out the CDIP’er that a little light blue sneaking into the coast on Monday? I think it is...hell yeah.

The first SW’er (200-220) peaks on Saturday and into Sunday...but another stronger pulse of S-SSW swell (180-200) starts to fill in late Sunday night and will peak Monday afternoon through Thursday of next week. Lots of waves on tap for the next several days.

For the weekend...we can expect the average SW facing spots to see surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some inconsistent head high sets mixing in on the better tides. The standout SW facing spots, mostly through South OC, North San Diego, and Northern LA county, will have shoulder-head high surf with overhead sets coming through inconsistently. W-facing beaches, like those in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and parts of the South Bay, will be seeing mostly background NW expect much smaller sizes through those areas.

Winds look ok...sort of light onshore/variable in the early mornings with some texture showing at the open/flat beaches. Cleaner conditions at spots with something to break up the wind like lots of kelp or high cliffs along the beach. Look for building onshore winds through the afternoons, mostly W-WNW 10-14 knots with stronger gusts at times.

Saturday Morning Winds

Sunday Morning Winds

There isn’t much to break up this next run of Southern Hemi it looks like the exposed points and reefs are going to be the best call shapewise. The beach breaks will be pretty walled and sectiony...but if they have some sort of structure to carve up the swell, or a really solid sandbar, they might be worth a check...if only to get a little bit less of a crowd. Sets will still be a little inconsistent on the first part of the swell...but expect more and more energy showing as we move through into late Sunday/Monday.

Here are the tides...have a great weekend...hope you guys get some! (Make sure to hit me up with some random surf reports either to the blog email or on the comments)

05:03AM LDT -0.2 L
11:13AM LDT 5.4 H
05:25PM LDT 0.7 L
11:17PM LDT 5.2 H

05:36AM LDT 0.4 L
11:49AM LDT 5.5 H
06:19PM LDT 0.7 L

Swell update – New SW-swell showing the 20’s

The first part of the new SW swell is starting to show this morning.

Our surf isn’t huge by any means for this dawn patrol…there are a few sets starting to sneak through at the well exposed breaks. More waist high waves at the better spots (mostly in South OC, Northern San Diego and Northern LA). Top breaks are seeing chest high+ waves on the mornings tide push.

While it isn’t big yet, it is showing some nice long-period energy on the buoys this morning. Check it out…I always love when a swell shows on time.

Look for this swell to fill in gradually through the day, with the peak of the SW’er hitting over the weekend. New S swell starts to overlap this one starting Sunday night and we can expect bigger surf as we head into next week.

If you need more details make sure to check out my long-range forecast and the swell-alert that I sent out earlier this week.

Long-range Surf Forecast

Swell Alert for the incoming S-SW swells

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Random Tropical Alert – East Coast - Hurricane Bill

Yep, Hurricane Bill is a beast.

He is a well positioned, moving in a great direction, his core wind speeds are holding around 105-knots with gusts to 130-knots (156-mph) and he is set to light up the East Coast with hurricane swell.

Check out how well developed he is in the satellite photo…I didn’t even draw hurricanes that perfect my notebook when I was in school…

Hurricane bill is intense, large, and moving right at the East Coast. To put the cherry on the sundae, the storm veers off before it gets to land, giving the East Coast a full shot of swell but without the deadly 100+ knot winds…and since he makes the re-curve motion close to the coast…Bill gets a chance to send waves to pretty much the whole stretch of coast from Florida on up through Nova Scotia.

Check out some of these nearshore model images that I pulled from (again thanks to Mark Sponsler for letting me copy a few images now and then). Click on the links below the image for the live model run on

Those models aren’t lying…there is a very real chance of the swell getting massive as Hurricane Bill grinds in close to the coast.

The swell model for a stretch of coast up by New York and New Jersey is calling for nearly 16’ of deepwater swell at 15-second periods. Unreal.

Anyways…the initial energy from Bill, lets call it the more “survivable” energy for good-times sake, arrives through the day on Friday…particularly for Florida and the Mid-Atlantic States. The swell builds quickly everywhere else as we move throughout the day on Friday.

The peak of the swell hits Saturday afternoon, and really it doesn’t look healthy to be in the water at an “exposed” spot when this swell peaks. The East Coast generally doesn’t have the right sort of sea-floor to allow these waves to keep quality shape once it gets this big. Most breaks will be drifty massive churning messes.

That being said…this is a good opportunity to check spots that normally wouldn’t break…say something deep inside bays and harbors that only get a fraction of the energy hitting the main spots. I bet there will be a bunch of crazy obscure nuggets working all over.

Anyway…if any of you guys are out on the East Coast…stay safe and good luck!

Friday’s Surf – Building SW swell and a touch of wind

Friday will start off small and inconsistent for most areas…so the early morning won’t be much of a surf day.

However, new SW swell (200-220) will be filling in slowly throughout the day and will help build wave heights as we move into the afternoon. Local NW windswell will also be on the rise but it will be pretty steeply angled (295-300+) and won’t ad much to our surf.

In the morning expect most spots to be in the knee-waist high range, with the sets being fairly inconsistent at times. Standout SW facing spots in San Diego and South Orange County may have rare waist-chest high sets as we move through the early morning low tide.

By the afternoon the SW’er will be starting to get more energy into our exposed spots. The swell will still be pretty SW so don’t expect all of the summer spots to be working…North OC in particular will be shadowed on this part of the swell. By the afternoon/evening we can expect the average spots to start to pull in more consistent waist-chest high sets. Standouts will be more in the chest high range with shoulder high sets becoming more consistent as we head toward sundown.

The winds will be a touch funky tomorrow…the forecast models are calling for some onshore texture from the W-WNW in the morning. Not completely blown out…sort of in the 4-6 knot range for many areas…maybe a touch stronger at the more exposed beaches in SD and OC. The WNW wind is expected to build fast, eventually coming onshore 12-15 knots by the afternoon. This funk is expected to hold around into Saturday but lets cross our fingers that it moves out faster than the models are saying.

So a slow start tomorrow…slow and possibly textured. Personally I would give the surf cams a check before driving very far for a dawn patrol session. I still think that you are going to want to stick to the small-wave or fishy shapes through the morning…but we might be able to start to bust out the normal boards later in the day.

Here are the tides…

04:30AM LDT -0.7 L
10:38AM LDT 5.3 H
04:34PM LDT 0.7 L
10:30PM LDT 5.9 H