Monday, February 15, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 2/15/2010

Forecast Overview

Our W-NW swell will start backing off on Tuesday and will continue a slow fade through the end of the week along with our background SW swell. Expect fun surf and clean/warm/sunny conditions through Tuesday and then cooler (but still clean) weather through the end of the week. Small SW reinforcement arrives Thursday and it looks like more W swell and bad weather on tap for next weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

The W-NW swell and the background SW swell will start to wind down on Tuesday but there will continue to be plenty of waves for the exposed spots. Look for the average W-NW and ok combo breaks to see surf in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent overhead sets still pushing through on the lower tides. Standout NW facing breaks and the excellent combo spots, mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego, will have surf more in the shoulder-overhead range with sets still going a couple of feet+ overhead at times during the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Winds and weather will be nice…cool, light offshore winds will be on tap for the morning and then just moderate WNW-NW flow around 10-13 knots for the afternoon. Mostly sunny skies and warm beach temps as well.

The mix of W-NW and SW swell will continue to drop. Average exposed breaks drop to about waist-shoulder high while the top WNW-NW breaks see some chest-head high surf. The standout breaks may have a few inconsistently bigger sets on the early morning low tides. Winds/Weather: Light and variable to light offshore for the morning and then just moderate onshore flow W-NW around 10-12 knots for the afternoon.

The last of the WNW-NW will limp through and we will see a new, but small, reinforcement of SW energy (200-215) fill in through the background. Most spots will drop down into the knee-chest high range. The standout NW breaks and the excellent combo spots will be more in the waist-shoulder high range on inconsistent sets. Winds/Weather: Winds still look good…mostly light and variable to light offshore for the morning and then just light W winds around 10-knots for the afternoon. Expect cooler temps as the weather starts to shift around.

Looks like the smallest day of the week at this point. Expect a weak mix of leftover WNW-NW energy and some weak SW swell. Most spots will be in the knee-knee high+ range while the standout combo spots see some waist-chest high sets. Conditions aren’t stellar either…new cold-front starts to push through the region, possibly setting up some S winds and rain as it begins to arrive. Looks like more wet weather, and possibly some new stormy W swell on tap for later in the weekend.


North Pacific
There is a little gap in the storm action slipping through the North Pacific storm-track right now that we will feel later this week as the current W-NW swell mix fades out and we have to wait a couple of days before something new moves into replace it. Look for overhead+ surf to continue through Tuesday and then get progressively smaller as we head towards Friday.

Further out there still are more storms sloshing around the North Pacific…they just took a short break between swells after that last one punched through. At this point I am seeing another deep, complex low-pressure setting up shop just to the south of the Aleutians that will send another large WNW-NW swell to Hawaii and in the process begin pushing some more mid-latitude storm action towards the West Coast.

If these storms can live up to the current forecast we will start to see new WSW-W-WNW swell arriving through the day on Saturday (Feb 20) and then peaking Sunday/Monday (Feb 21-22) with more overhead surf at the well exposed spots.

Unfortunately it looks like we might see these storms make a run all the way to the coast which means even though we start to see new swell the weather will likely be coming along with it. Cross your fingers that we just get the waves and not the weather...I am not sure I can stand anymore rainy/poo-water weekends.

South Pacific
There hasn’t been a whole lot of storm activity down in the SPAC after that better-looking last storm brewed up…oh it hasn’t been totally calm down there but nothing that has pulled together has been very interesting. Long-range right now looks like we will see another round of knee-chest high SW swell (200-220) arriving on the 17-18th and possibly a couple of similar (or smaller) swells showing after that.

Further out There is a bigger storm that is set to form below New Zealand over the next several days…sort of an ugly extra-tropical bad-boy being fed by the cyclone just to the south of Fiji that has the potential to send us some more chest-shoulder high SW swell for the 25-27th…but it still has a lot of development to go before it can send us waves.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, February 18th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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