Monday, February 1, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 2/01/2010

Forecast Overview

New WNW-NW swell starts to fill in slowly on Tuesday, peaks on Wednesday, and then fades later in the week. Another round of W-NW energy, and some more stormy weather, will push in on the weekend and hold more surf into early next week. Long-range charts are showing the potential for a bigger storm forming in a few days…and even the South Pacific is starting to get a little frisky.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Tuesday will start with mostly leftover WNW-NW swell and some background S-SSW swell but a new WNW-NW pulse (280-300) will be moving in slowly throughout the day and should be able to push in a few new waves by the end of the day (and even earlier up toward Ventura). Look for most average WNW facing breaks to see waist-chest high surf…standout NW breaks will be closer to shoulder high though the early morning. Things slow down again with the AM high tide but as the tide drops we should see more consistency and some bigger surf as the new WNW-NW’er fills in. I expect that the really exposed spots, mostly in Ventura, will have some head high+ sets showing before sunset. Winds/Weather: Winds look good for the morning…mostly light and variable to light ESE. Winds shift more S-SW onshore around 10-12 knots for the afternoon. Chance of light showers developing overnight into Wednesday.

The new WNW-NW swell will peak while weak S-SSW continues to drop off in the background. Most spots WNW facing spots will push back into the chest-head high range with some inconsistent overhead sets showing on the lower tides. The standout NW facing breaks, mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego, will have shoulder-overhead surf with sets going a couple of feet+ overhead on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Winds will shift a touch more onshore on Wednesday...expect sort of light NW flow for the morning, likely below 10-knots, and even going light and variable in spots with some wind protection. NW winds 10-15+ knots move in during the afternoon.

The WNW-NW swell (280-300) will drop in both size and swell period but will still push in some playful surf for the well exposed areas. Look for chest-shoulder high surf at the average WNW facing spots and some shoulder-head high surf at the better NW facing spots. Top NW spots down in Southern San Diego will see some more consistent overhead surf through the morning…losing some size by the afternoon. Winds/Weather: The winds switch around again as another cold front starts to move into the outer waters…weather looks dry at this point for Thursday…but winds will be pushing out of the SE for the morning around 10-12 knots and then building to about 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Looks a bit on the small side compared to earlier in the week…expect leftover WNW-NW swell with surf holding around waist-chest high for the average spots and just a few shoulder high sets showing at the standout NW breaks. Conditions won’t be the greatest thanks to increasingly stormy weather and winds out of the S-SE, but like the last couple of storms there will be a few protected spots that will stay surfable.


North Pacific
Still lots of action in the NPAC storm track…we have a decent WNW-NW swell lining up for midweek that will push in another around of overhead surf for the standout breaks as it peaks on Wednesday. Look for this swell to fade out slowly on Thursday and Friday.

Our next round of WNW-NW energy is looking a bit stormy…forecasts are calling for another round of storms to start moving in late Friday and holding through the weekend. As a result we are going to have a mix of short-period W-WNW (260-300) and some longer-period WNW-NW energy (280-300) that will start filling on Saturday (Feb 6) and peaking Sunday/Monday (Feb 7-8)…check out the GFS pressure chart…

And here is how those winds are setting up the new round of swell…

Weather doesn’t look very good for this one…but as a lot of you know…that doesn’t mean every spot is going to be completely trashed. We will have swell in the water…with the mix of W-NW energy likely going overhead at most of the WNW facing spots and sets going a couple of feet overhead at the standout NW breaks. It looks like S winds and rain as the swell peaks on Sunday, how bad the weather will actually be is still a little fuzzy so we will have to see how it shakes out over the next few days.

Further out…look at the very end of the forecast run and check out the red-blob that is forming over by Hawaii.

South Pacific
There has been some playful S-SSW swell showing for the last couple of days…not much more than chest high at the best spots but enough to combo up at the well exposed breaks. This little pulse of energy will fade slowly over the next few days but never really drop completely off. Don’t expect much surf coming off this swell by itself…likely it will be waist high and below at the pure S facing breaks…but it should continue to crease up the WNW energy at the better exposed spots.

Further out the fun little extra-tropical mixing that I saw on the charts last week is continuing to show in the forecast though the weather model is pushing the dates back a couple of days. Much like I expected this mixing is going to help set up a decent little shot of fetch in the next couple of days that will push some new SW swell (190-215) our direction…

If it can live up to this forecast it looks like we would start to see an increase in SW energy around Feb 11-12 (this is coming out of the precursor to the actual storm so it won’t be very big)…and then the actual peak of this new energy hitting more on Feb 13-15 (Valentines combo swell anyone…ah you shouldn’t have).

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, February 4th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


cheerupcheerio said...

The little south swell heart adds quite a bit of endearment. :)

Anonymous said...

how big you thinkin on the south?