Monday, January 18, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 1/18/2010

Forecast Overview

Stormy conditions and a supersized W swell will be on tap this week…with the largest surf and probably the worst weather arriving on Thursday (with the swell holding into Friday). Expect wet, windy conditions, and crappy surf shape for most of the week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Large W-WNW swell (260-300) moves in throughout the day…with new energy showing through the morning and just gaining more size through the afternoon. Lots of spots will push into the shoulder-overhead range…with the usual winter standouts seeing sets going several feet overhead. San Diego looks like it will get hit particularly hard…likely some double-overhead+ sets mixing in by the afternoon. Winds/Weather: Will be pretty crappy on Tuesday. We will actually get a break in the rain Monday night but another front moves through by Tuesday afternoon. Winds will shift to the S-SE through early Tuesday but stick around the 10-20+ knot range. Look for S-SW winds to push through with gusts to 25-30 knots by the afternoon/evening. More rain on tap late in the day too.

The large storm swell holds…lots of overhead waves at the exposed spots and sets going several feet overhead to double-overhead+ at the standouts. Conditions look pretty poor so don’t expect much in the way of surfable shape (except at a few really protected locations, but then you have to deal with water quality…which will be hazardous). Winds/Weather: More rain, more onshore winds…S-SW winds around 15-20+ knots…possibly stronger at the well exposed areas.

The mix of storm swell and long-period energy is forecast to peak on Thursday…with combined seas just off the coast seeing something like 12-15’ of nastiness. Conditions along the beach continue to look unsurfable but wave heights will be running well-overhead at all w-facing breaks and double possibly triple+ overhead at the most extreme standout locations. Winds/Weather: Another round of extremely heavy rain moves in early on Thursday…along with S-SW winds 20-30+ knots and gusts to nearly 40+ at times. Expect a hacked up mess for most areas.

The W swell holds solid, possibly even increasing slightly compared to Thursday in some areas, but the weather will finally start to break a bit. Still well-overhead and poor shaped for most areas. Standout breaks see double-overhead+ sized surf. Water quality will be abysmal and winds will shift to the W around 15-20+ knots and continue to sneak in some scattered showers. Basically it will still be a wet-mess and we should all do something else.


North Pacific
A series of strong winter storms will take turns pummeling us with rain, onshore winds, and large stormy swell this week.

The weather finally breaks a bit late Friday and sets up drier conditions for Saturday and into Sunday…but overall winds will not improve that much and the water quality will be pretty bad thanks to all of the heavy rain.

Swellwise we will see a large lump of W swell (260-300) that fills in fast on Tuesday and then peaks Wed-Thursday-Friday with lots of well-overhead to double-triple overhead sizes at the well-exposed W facing beaches. Conditions and shape look pretty awful so don’t expect much in the way of surfable waves…chances are even the most protected beaches will take some pummeling both in terms of wind, rain, and swell.

Further out there is yet another mid-latitude storm forming in the next 4-5 days…this one looks like it might get the swell shot off before it pushes any weather our direction (no promises though). If this one lives up to forecasts we would see another overhead+ to possibly well-overhead W swell arriving around the 26th.

South Pacific
The Southern hemi continues to be pretty quiet…sending out mostly weak background pulses that will get swallowed up by the stronger NPAC storms/swells. At this point I am not seeing any significant swells headed our way…and nothing substantial in the forecast either. I will let you know when I see something shake loose down this way.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, January 21st, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I walked the dog along the Santa Ana river trail, about 1 mile up from RJs, after the storm moved out this afternoon.

From what I saw, you definitely **do not** want to go anywhere near the ocean until the toxic stuff that floated by settles down into the sand/mud.

It looked like a picture of the Cuyahoga River without the fire.