Thursday, January 7, 2010

Surf For Friday – New waves but the swell is taking its sweet time

Friday will be a surf day…with new waves showing in the morning but the peak of the swell arriving more in the evening (and into Saturday).

So this new swell is kind of being a little bit of a ninja…the initial part of the swell is coming in pretty westerly…with the main part of the energy in the 275-285 degree range…which thanks to the position of the storm is letting it slip past our outer buoys, namely the #46006 buoy.

Normally this wouldn’t be as possible with a storm that is still a reasonable distance from our coast…(it is a lot more common with storms that form up a few hundred miles out to sea)…but the California Buoy #46059 tore loose from its moorings sometime last year and it hasn’t been put back into service…so there is a nice big hole in our coverage. Check out this handy little image I put together and you can sort of see what I mean.

Also the more westerly swell direction means that the swell is hitting more of the coast at the same time, which again limits the usual “early warning” signs that you can see as a more NW’erly swell moves down the coast starting up in NorCal, through Central Cal, and down to Socal. Basically it means that you can have a swell slip in past the buoys and bam it starts hitting all of California’s spots within a few hours of each other…or if you are REALLY unlucky the storm won’t produce the swell you thought it would and you can’t tell that there are no waves on the way until it fails to arrive. Yeah I love those.

Anyway…the new W-WNW swell (275-300) is actually starting to show on our nearshore indicator buoys (like the Harvest Buoy and San Nicolas Island) and it will continue to fill in overnight and throughout the day on Friday.

All of the exposed spots will be seeing some new waves in the morning…average spots will be in the waist-chest high+ range with some shoulder high sets. Better WNW facing breaks, like those in San Diego, Ventura, and the South Bay, will be in the chest-head high range. The standout WNW-NW spots, mostly in Ventura through the morning, will be running in the shoulder-overhead range on the sets. As the swell fills in look for all of the W-NW facing breaks to increase in size and consistency…with the best breaks seeing sets going a couple of feet overhead by the end of the day.

Winds look good…light and variable to light/moderate offshore near the wind-prone passes and canyons. Winds stay light but turn slightly onshore through the mid-afternoon. Looks like they may lay down later in evening as well, but don’t count on it being bump free.

I think it will be worth getting out and surfing tomorrow morning…it won’t be huge or anything right off the bat…but the swell is filling in which means that it will just get bigger and more consistent. Points and Reefs will have the best shape…the beach breaks are going to be a bit walled as the swell fills in…expect some current to paddle against at the wide open spots as well.

There is a bit of a difference in how the swell will be hitting each of our Counties tomorrow. The Regional Forecasts have some of those details so give ‘em a check when you get a chance.

Regional/County Forecasts

Santa Barbara Surf Forecast
Ventura County Surf Forecast
Los Angeles County Surf Forecast
Orange County Surf Forecast
San Diego Surf Forecast

Here are the tides… send me some reports if you get a chance (pics are always welcome too).

01/08/2010 Friday
03:29AM LST 5.1 H
11:05AM LST 0.7 L
05:05PM LST 2.8 H
09:39PM LST 2.0 L


Anonymous said...

Sick forecast, Adam! Which point is it that administers the free cortizone shots? Shoulders didn't really get a good recovery from last five weeks' waves. Dig deep, Kid. New snowboard collecting more dust.

Anonymous said...

it definitely started off slow today, but the shape in Venice was actually pretty good, not too walled. it picked up when i was getting out of the water around 8am.

can't wait for the weekend!


Anonymous said...

good session in south san diego, but the paddle was killer.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Surfed one of orange countys most winter time exposed beach breaks today and it was like 2-3 feet?
Cool another el nino let down for everyone who doesnt live in south san diego, cmon SPAC some part of the pacfic needs to give us waves!

Anonymous said...

north county san swamis area...was head high to overhead on sets...wasnt the most open wave, but still fun.