Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thursday’s funk – go away wind!

Thursday isn’t looking all that fun…there will be more swell in the water but it looks like more of this onshore wind, and probably some rain as well.

The WNW-NW swell (280-300), which is a mix of medium-period energy and local windswell slop), will peak on Thursday. A new S swell (180-200) moves in throughout the day…lots of long-period energy showing mostly on the buoys, but starting to sneak into the beaches by the end of the day. Again there may be a few pockets of semi-rideable (that being a relative term) conditions at the really protected spots in the morning, but don’t waste a lot of time/gas/money looking for clean glassy surf.

The WNW swell mix will be peaking on Thursday morning…but it looks like most of the energy is coming in around the 290-300 degree range…check out how it is hitting Socal on the CDIP analysis chart…

There is a little bit of refraction/bend to the WNW-NW energy (the longer-period swell) that you can see on the fringes of NW facing breaks…but the majority of the swell is both steeper in swell angle and shorter in swell period which is why the swell-shadow from Point Conception and the nearshore islands is so pronounced. This means that there will be some pretty changes in size as you move from an exposed beach to a lesser exposed area.

Sizewise on Thursday…look for the average WNW facing spots to be in the chest-shoulder high range. The standout NW facing breaks…in those red circles…will be shoulder-head high+ on the average sets with some bigger sets going overhead+ at times. Winds and the tide swing will hamper size and shape for almost if you are heading out hell or high water…try and keep that in mind when you pick your spot.

Weather is supposed to be pretty sloppy tomorrow too…check out the NOAA graphical forecast...

Winds are a little weird though…the weather models aren’t really sure how this storm is going to set up by Thursday morning…it may center itself around point conception…or it may be further out to sea. Both positions have different effects on the wind…a closer storm could allow the northern counties like Santa Barbara and Ventura to see lighter winds while LA on southward would see onshore W winds pretty much from the start of the day. If the storm is further off the coast then we may have more southerly winds across most of Socal, which leaves a few spots pretty protected. Check out the two wind models that I am looking at this afternoon…there is a pretty big difference between the two…

I have a gut feeling that we are going to get something in the middle of these two…sort of lighter/variable onshore flow for the morning, mostly W-SW around 10 knots with some of the northern areas seeing the W winds pick up fast by mid-morning. By the afternoon all spots should be plenty blown out thanks to 15-20 knot W winds with some 25 knot gusts. The rain should move out pretty fast too…

Basically I am expecting sloppy, junky conditions for most areas tomorrow…I know, I know there is always the one secret reef that has the inside section that works on the reverse negative tide and goes offshore whenever the wind is bad everwhere else…no matter what direction it is blowing (I think you have to talk to the singing bush, to find the invisible swordsman, so he can show you to the spot for the first time)...but for most of us that have to surf the normally wide open beaches, it is going to be pretty lumpy. As usual, whenever we have swell in the water, I recommend at least checking the wind in the morning (or whenever your “surf time” is during the day)…just to make sure that the storm hasn’t done something weird and opened a little window for you.

Here are the tides…

04/01/2010 Thu
05:41AM LDT -0.8 L
11:46AM LDT 3.7 H
05:06PM LDT 1.3 L
11:16PM LDT 5.6 H


Anonymous said...

I'm off to HI this weekend suckas. Now, unless there's konas, that's a place that's always offshore.

I was hoping to get a few days here beforehand, but now it looks like I'll have to go cold turkey.

Wish me luck on a late season swell. I was there during last year's T-day, and it's the only time I've been skunked.

In reverse, that is. Sunset was completely washed out, with Waimea the only place breaking. Seeing as I haven't paddled out there since I was 20 (and a pathetic showing at that), it wasn't really an option.

So here's to no wetsuit, offshore, sunny and hopefully a little swell on either shore.

Pezzy said...

Would you say we have a plethora of winds El Guapo?

Anonymous said...

you know, i was thinking, it's just a matter of time before we get a "live shark attack" on a surfer recorded for all of us to watch. how? why, the gopro camera, of course. just praying it isn't me!

Anonymous said...

Glassy in newps this morning, good shape to if you know where to go, you were right adam with all the other surf forecasting sights i read your the only one who accurately called the size of the waves. Definetly not DOH anywhere