Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Waves for Wednesday – WNW-NW swell with a side of small Southern Hemi

Wednesday will be a surf day.

We are going to have 2 new swells showing on Wednesday…the first, and most dominant, is the WNW-NW swell (285-300). This swell has the full 285-300 swell-direction spread, but like I have mentioned in previous forecasts, the majority of the energy is coming in from 290-300 degrees, which means that not every “winter” spot will be fully exposed to the swell. The WNW-NW’er will hit select spots in Ventura, the South Bay, and San Diego’s South County the best…while the other WNW facing breaks will be smaller and a little less consistent.

Our second swell is a much smaller, and less consistent S-SW swell (180-210), which will be showing best in Orange County and a few other areas. This swell will be mostly long-period forerunners on Wednesday…and even though the periods is long (18-20 seconds) there isn’t a ton of size in this swell. I don’t even expect this swell to be all that rideable by itself, maybe a few small lines at the purely summer spots, but it should help out the better combo spots breaks. The swell does fill in a bit better by the afternoon and it looks stronger for both Thursday and Friday.

Average WNW facing breaks and the better combo spots will see some waist-shoulder high surf. Standout NW facing breaks and the excellent combo spot (mostly in Ven/So-Bay/South SD areas) will see surf more in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent overhead sets showing on the lower tides.

Winds and weather look pretty nice again on Wednesday. Mostly sunny skies with some light/variable to light offshore winds on tap for the morning. Variable onshore winds around the 10-14 knot range will develop through the afternoon.

So tomorrow will be surf day but you are going to want to be at a spot that can pull in more of the WNW-NW energy…there just isn’t enough S-SW swell to make those S-facing spots work all that well. It looks like the dawn-patrol is going to be the best call, particularly if you can get up super early to take advantage of the early-morning tide push. If you don’t have a great NW spot nearby you will probably want to stick with your small wave gear…it will help you get more out of the swell-mix, and let you stick it out a little longer as the tide fills in.

Here are the tides…Happy St Patrick’s Day! (Hoist a few green ones for me!)

03/17/2010 Wednesday
04:46AM LDT 0.3 L
10:41AM LDT 4.1 H
04:36PM LDT 0.8 L
10:41PM LDT 5.0 H


Anonymous said...

after the run of big swells this winter, my local beachbreak in the south bay keels over and dies on a low tide, even when there is a decent swell (like today). it really only works with a higher tide, and overall has a significantly smaller tidal range where it works.
and i've noticed a lot of the beachies i frequent break either further outside than before winter or just dump inside. it's like there is a massive trench in the sandbars.
can anyone who has seen this before explain to me what happened and when it might return to normal? it's almost not even worth looking at my spot anymore if the tide is under 2' or so :(

Anonymous said...

It's like that everywhere - the HB Cliffs don't even break anymore. On a nice day like today, there might have been 5 cars in the lot.

Everyone has scattered north & south depending on where the gouged out sand has collected.

Don't know what part of the S Bay you're referring to, buy my guess is the sand has ended up by the various jetties.

Anonymous said...

The upper and lower jetties of newport beach also have this problem rightnow as of about the first few days of feburary and HB well, year round has this problem, as for newport anyways as soon as the spac gets it act together and starts showing up one or two decent south swells will push everything back, not to sure if this will work for the south bay because of its lack of exposure to south swells (sorry man) and HB well, hb always has this problem.

Anonymous said...

same deal in oceanside. the cause down here was the back-to-back largest swells of the winter during that rainy week. I surfed before, during, and after those swells and saw the changes . . . the big swells move a lot of sand around and create large holes that are really tide sensitive.

Anonymous said...

yeah that last big swell really pushed a lot of sand around.

Anonymous said...

same thing in south san diego. huge sand gaps at the beachies and has been quite funky since early february. only surfable at big high tide. :(

Anonymous said...

el nino taking its claim of beachies through out socal i guess

Anonymous said...

As a follow-up to my 12 noon comment, while it appears everyone is complaining about their local beachies, the point is that the sand has gone somewhere.

Where that "somewhere" is you need to find in your own locale. But if/when you do, you might discover the sand bars are so extensive & pronounced that the breaks look more like point waves.

Of course, you'll also find a tighter crowd sitting on the peak, and not surprisingly, some "locals" surprised at all the new faces.

For instance, one place where all the sand has collected here is typically frequented by beg-int LBers & SUPs.

Imagine the fun and games when a new crew (actually, long term locals who keep an eye open) of amped up guys from the various surf towns show up who can actually surf on performance (short) boards.

My last wave in was a nice OH left, but (temporarily) behind a SUP who thought it was OK to take off way down the shoulder. (Of course, even before the wave had even broken where he was.)

He immediately kicked out, but not without the entire inside crew yelling at him & his fellow sweepers. LOL