Monday, February 22, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 2/22/2010

Forecast Overview

Look for fading WNW-NW swell and some background SW energy for the next couple of days...cleaner conditions as well. New WNW-NW swell and more SW energy move in on Thursday and peak into Friday. More waves and it looks like more funky weather on tap for the upcoming weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

WNW-NW swell (280-300) fades out while small SW energy holds in the background. Most spots will be in the waist-chest high range while the standout NW facing breaks see some chest-shoulder high sets. Winds/Weather: Conditions clean up on Tuesday morning with winds going light/variable to light offshore for most areas. Look for onshore WNW-NW winds 10-14 knots to develop by the afternoon.

The mix of WNW-NW swell will hold…not really dropping much further…but not all that big either. SW swell continues to linger in the background. Look for most spots in the knee-waist high range while the standouts see some waist-chest high+ sets…maybe bigger at the really good combo spots. Winds/Weather: Winds stay light through midweek…look for light and variable morning flow with some areas of light offshore winds in the early morning. WNW-NW winds around 10-15 knots will build in through the afternoon.

New WNW-NW swell (280-300) starts filling in throughout the day while a new SW swell (200-220) also begins to pulse up in the background. Most spots will build into the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets showing on the lower tides. Standout WNW-NW facing spots…mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, and Southern San Diego, will have consistent shoulder-head high surf with sets going overhead to a couple of feet overhead at times. Winds/Weather: Winds get a little squirrely…light-moderate onshore flow sets up through OC and SD for the morning and we see sort of funky S-SE flow in areas from LA up through Santa Barbara. Winds should be below 10-knots for the morning but building S flow will increase through the afternoon.

The WNW-NW swell (280-300) and background SW swell (200-220) will hold but weather will start to get a be funky. Wave heights will continue in the chest-head high range at the average WNW/combo spots. Standout breaks hold around shoulder-head high+ with overhead sets. Winds/Weather: Another front is expected to push through the area on Friday soooo winds are a bit tied to how that front behaves…current forecasts are calling for light winds through the morning but steadily building WNW-NW flow arriving by midmorning and continuing to strengthen through the day…chance of rain moving in as well.


North Pacific
Still plenty of energy sloshing around the North Pacific in the long-range forecast…like much of the winter we are still seeing storms forming around the mid-upper latitudes mostly between Hawaii and the West Coast…that will do a good job producing WNW-NW swell for Socal but will also manage to bring some funky weather along with them as well, fortunately the breaks in the weather are getting further and further apart so we should have some clean days slipping in before and after each front passes through.

We are going to see slowly fading WNW energy for the first couple of days this week…but a new WNW-NW swell (280-300) will start to push in later on Wednesday, eventually peaking Thursday afternoon into Friday. This swell looks good for more chest-head high surf at the average WNW spots and overhead surf at the standout WNW-NW breaks. This will fade out slowly on Saturday but another round of, potentially stronger WNW swell will be on tap for Sunday/Monday (Feb 28-Mar 1)

Further out the forecast model is calling for a pretty significant increase in storm activity by later in the upcoming weekend. If these storms can live up to forecasts we should see another round of hefty WNW-NW swell heading out way for the first few days in March (probably around March 3-4th) these still have a few days to form but it will definitely be worth keeping an eye on them.

South Pacific
The South Pacific is starting to get a little more active…nothing like the North Pacific…but enough to send some slightly better looking SW pulses our direction. We have some small energy that will hold for the next few days and a waist-chest high+ SW pulse that arrives on Thursday the 25th and peaks into Friday before slowly fading out over the weekend.

Further out there is some good interaction between the tropical-subtropical activity (forming up around Fiji and Northern New Zealand) and the colder, high-latitude storm track just of Antarctica. The tropical energy is bleeding off to the south which is letting the SPAC cauldron get all bubbly…which is my very scientific description of storms making the south-north movements that help establish better areas of fetch for our region. If the current forecast can hold together we should see a decent area of fetch developing in about 4-5 days…which would send us a new round of chest-shoulder high+ SSW-SW swell (190-215) for around March 4-6th.

Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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