Monday, March 1, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 3/01/2010

Forecast Overview

Yet another round of WNW-NW swell (285-300) moves in through the day on Tuesday, eventually peaking on Wednesday before slowly fading Thursday and Friday. A new storm/cold-front is forecast to move in right behind the swell, arriving late Tuesday, junking things up on Wednesday and then fading out on Thursday. Friday will be smaller and cleaner but it won’t last long…another colder, stormier, nastier system moves in on Saturday (along with more WNW-NW swell) and slops up the weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

The W-NW swell from the weekend will continue to fade out through early Tuesday but wave heights won’t drop too much thanks to a longer-period WNW-NW swell (285-300) that begins to arrive through the morning and fills in more toward the afternoon. Small SW swell will continue to hold in the background but won’t produce much. Look for surf in the waist-shoulder high range for most W-WNW facing spots and some shoulder-head high+ sets at the standout breaks. Shape will be soft and slow thanks to a morning high tide but it should improve as the tide drops. Look for some slightly bigger overhead sets mixing in by late in the afternoon. Winds/Weather: A new cold front is forecast to push into the area on Tuesday…mostly in the afternoon. Look for mostly light and variable winds throughout LA, OC, and SD areas…with some SE flow around 10-15 knots setting up through Ventura and Santa Barbara. Those winds will increase and slowly push into the other regions throughout the day…likely hitting 10-20+ knots by the afternoon and brining in some more scattered showers as well.

The new WNW-NW swell (285-300) will peak as it mixes with some increasing local windswell and small background S-SW energy. Most WNW spots will be in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead+ sets on the lower tides. The standout NW facing spots in Ventura, the South Bay, and South San Diego, will have surf running head high to a couple of feet overhead with some bigger sets going a few feet+ overhead at times. Winds/Weather: Conditions will be a little squirrelly…the cold front is still forecast to be holding in the area, bringing some scattered rain showers and onshore winds. The winds for the morning don’t look horrible…sort of variable onshore around 10-knots with some WNW-NW flow developing around midmorning. Look for building WNW-NW flow for the afternoon.

The WNW-NW swell (285-300) will start to wind down slowly on Thursday while the windswell and the weak SW energy stay steady in the background. We can still expect shoulder-head high+ surf at the average WNW facing spots and sets going a couple of feet overhead at the standout NW areas but the general trend in surf size and the consistency of the bigger sets will back down. Winds/Weather: The weather models are having a hard time for Thursday…it looks like more rain possible for SB/Ventura and cool cold conditions further south…but winds are still a bit up in the air. If all this stuff is moving through the region just plan on some general onshore flow…mostly out of the west…but staying below 10-14 knots for the morning and then building to about those speeds for the afternoon.

The WNW-NW energy will back down more on Friday as we see the tail end of the swell. Look for most WNW facing spots to see chest-head high surf and top spots, mostly in San Diego, to see some inconsistent overhead sets. Winds/Weather: Yet another cold front is expected to move in late on Friday but most of the daylight hours we should see light winds. Expect light and variable conditions for Friday morning and then sort of a variable onshore flow below 10+ knots for the afternoon. S-SW winds 15-25 knots and heavy rain are forecast to move in after midnight.


North Pacific
We have yet another nice shot of WNW-NW swell (285-300) moving in throughout the day on Tuesday that will peak midweek and then wind down slowly Thursday and Friday. Looks like some funky weather will come along with this swell but conditions should be dynamic enough that there are a few surf windows that might open as the various fronts pass through.

Further out it looks like we are going to get another round of W-NW energy filling in next weekend, and lot of crappy weather as well. This new swell mix will be a combo of longer-period WNW-NW energy being pushed out from storms traveling through the Gulf of Alaska and a close-proximity low-pressure that cruises right down the California Coast later this week. Check out the lovely pressure chart of this one…

At this point it looks like a mix of long-period swell and really short-period slop will pulse up on Saturday and then eventually peak on Sunday with surf in the shoulder-overhead range for most W facing breaks and well-overhead sets at the standout NW spots.

Even further out there is still plenty of storm activity moving around the North Pacific…even some strong-looking systems developing more over in the western half of the NPAC. It looks like we will see some more WNW-NW swell arriving around March 8…nothing major but enough that the winter spots will be back in at least the fun-zone range if not a little bigger.

South Pacific
The SPAC, despite showing some promise in the last few days of forecast runs hasn’t really been able to produce anything all that impressive. There are a few small SW pulses that have been kicked out but nothing that will do much to break-up or push through the much more dominant NPAC energy. We can expect a mix of SW swell (200-220) that shows knee-high+ waves at the well exposed spots for most of this week…with a slightly bigger reinforcement (more knee-waist high+) moving in Thursday and Friday before fading out on Saturday. This trend will continue through to Monday (March 8) where we will see yet another small pulse of energy arrive.

Further out the long-range charts are teasing us with yet another potential storm…possibly forming up in the next 4-5 days that could send another SSW-SW pulse our direction for around the 16-17th. Obviously this one it a ways out…and based on how these other storms have performed we probably shouldn’t hold our breath that we see a ton of swell from this one.

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

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

went to a few spots in south san diego and after seeing weird conditions pretty much everywhere, I reluctantly headed to Cornado and, to my surprise, found that it was firing! Weird or what! that place almost never works, but today it was. Man, was it! very, very consistent 4-5 footers, plenty of face, and thick slabs to punch. only 1 other guy out for 3 hours. had the whole stretch of beach break to ourselves. definately the best session i've had a nado, and i stopped going there years ago because it almost always sucks. so glad i checked it today.