Monday, January 11, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 1/11/2010

Forecast Overview

Slowly fading but still fun surf holds through Tuesday…and then a much larger WNW swell hits Wednesday. The new swell will peak Wednesday afternoon and hold strong through Thursday before fading slowly into this upcoming weekend. Expect some funky weather/winds through midweek but it clears out pretty fast and goes back to sunny and slightly offshore by the end of the work week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Our W-WNW swell (275-300) backs down a bit on Tuesday but will continue to send in plenty of rideable surf. Small SW swell continues to hold in the background but is nearly impossible to find on the beach. Average spots will continue to see surf in the chest-head high range while the best WNW-NW facing breaks see consistent shoulder-overhead surf with some sets going a couple of feet overhead. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds through the morning, possibly even a few areas of light offshore texture. NW winds around 10-15 knots move in through the afternoon. Increasing cloud cover and chance of rain is possible by the evening/nighttime.

A hefty new swell hits on Wednesday sending in a large shot of W-WNW energy (260-300 with the main part of the energy hitting around the 285-300 range). This one is coming from a large, fairly intense, storm that has been slowly marching across the NPAC…and it doesn’t look like it is joking around. At this point I am expecting the average W facing breaks to see consistent overhead surf…with sets going a couple of feet overhead. The better WNW facing breaks, particularly in areas known for working better on Winter swells, will see sets going consistently overhead…with some bombs coming in several feet overhead, probably bigger. The top NW spots in areas like Ventura and San Diego will see surf in the well-overhead range with sets hitting double-overhead and bigger at times. It looks like this swell is going to hit the exposed spots almost too hard…just making a mess of most of those breaks. I think this is going to be one of those swells that it will pay to check out the really protected breaks and see if any energy is wrapping in. Winds/Weather: Funky cloudy weather, but with light winds…sort of light and variable in the morning with a couple of pockets of onshore texture. Look for building WNW winds around 10-15 knots for the afternoon.

The large WNW swell (270-300 but with the prime energy in the 285-300) will hold into Thursday...fading just slightly as the swell periods back down. Unfortunately it looks like winds could be sort of craptacular. Average W facing spots will continue to see head high to overhead surf with some sets going a couple of feet overhead. WNW facing breaks see consistent overhead+ surf with bigger sets mixing in. The standout NW breaks, again in Ventura the South Bay, and San Diego, will go overhead+ to well overhead on most sets while some of the bigger sets hit around the double-overhead range. Winds/Weather: Steady WNW winds are expected on Thursday…not sure how strong in the morning, but enough to junk up the exposed spots. Look for variable onshore flow around 5-8 knots and then building onshore WNW winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

The big swell continues to slowly back down, but expect some still good-sized surf roaming around throughout the day. Average spots will hold onto shoulder-overhead sized surf while the standout NW facing breaks still manage to pull in well-overhead sets. Winds/Weather: Winds improve on Friday as our high-pressure tries to reestablish itself over the area. Look for light/variable to light offshore flow through the morning and NW-NNW winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
So for the last couple of days I have been watching the storm that is setting up waves for midweek and comparing it to the wavewatchIII model…and it is doing a pretty bang-up job of living up to the forecasts. At this point the storm has done the majority of the swell generation…so like you read in the short-range part of the forecast…we can expect a pretty big W-WNW swell to come up fast on Wednesday and hold solid surf through the end of the week. At this point I expect the top NW spots to see some legit double-overhead sets…but this swell still has a chance to come in a bit bigger…the storm will push toward us for at least another 12-24 hours…which if the winds in the fetch hold up, will put the whip-cream and the cherry on top of this swell.

Right now the wwIII model is calling for something close to 10- to 12-feet of deepwater energy @ 15-16 seconds…which means that spots that can focus this sort of energy could be even bigger. Anyway it is just something to keep in mind, I mean really after a certain point sizewise it just stops mattering to most of us normal folk.

Further out there is more storm activity forming out the back…one system is set to come through right on the heels of the one we have right now. It would send in a smaller, but still healthy reinforcement of WNW energy that would arrive on the 15-16th and help to hold some good-sized, overhead surf, at the top breaks through the weekend.

Even further out (I know this is getting ridiculous) the charts are showing another large looking storm forming in about 4-5 days. If it lives up to forecasts we could be looking at another healthy WNW swell for around the 18-19th. The weather looks like it might be jacked up too but hey at least there is more swell in the forecast.

South Pacific
Not much going on down south…at least nothing that is really worth mentioning. Expect some small SW swells to push in over the next week+ but just evaporate in the larger WNW energy. Further out there may be a slightly better shot of S swell (180-190) coming our way for the 21-22nd…more details as it forms.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Pezman said...

Bohdi's storm brah hahaha

Anonymous said...

These swells are"
Some spots wil get MC HAMMER(d)!
PS you kids may have to search
you tube to understand, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!

Anonymous said...

In the book "Surfing California", Bank Wright claims that Swami's "never closes out", or something like that. Is there any break in SoCal that can handle any size swell? La Jolla Cove? Rincon?