Thursday, April 8, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/08/2010

Hey gang…I took a little vacation with the family over the last week, which was the reason for the lack of forecasts. (Actually I made the mistake of trying to us my laptop as both a way to work and a way to entertain the kids…amazingly it is really hard to forecast while the Clone Wars cartoons are blasting away). Anyway…I am back in action and the forecasting should settle back into its normal pattern.

Forecast Overview

New S swell is moving in this afternoon and will peak Friday and Saturday, just as the weather cools off and we get a bit of a coastal eddy forming up. Sunday will start off with mostly leftovers but a stronger cold front is forecast to arrive through the afternoon/nighttime and bring rain, wind, and possibly some W swell for Monday. Cleaner conditions and more southern hemi swells are starting to stack up out the back.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (S-SW swell strengthens…with a touch of eddy)
There will be some semi-combo fun on Friday…we will see a mix of S-SW swell (180-210) from a couple of different swells and we will also have some steeper angled NW windswell (290-300) that will continue to push in through the background. There aren’t that many beaches that can pull in both S and NW swells, which is why I am only calling it a “semi-combo”, but there are a few…so look for the biggest waves at those really exposed spots. Average breaks will be in the waist-chest high range. The standout S facing spots and the excellent combo breaks, mostly through Orange County and parts of San Diego, will see surf in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent overhead sets mixing in. Winds/Weather: A coastal eddy is forecast to form on Friday…brining some light onshore flow for SB down through North LA and some light/variable winds in the South Bay down through San Diego. Most areas will have winds below 10-knots but there is a chance at some onshore texture in the most open areas. Look for W-WSW winds around 10-14 knots for the afternoon.

Saturday – (S-SW swell peaks while the weather cools)
The mix of S-SW swell (180-210) will continue to peak while the random blips of NW energy wind down. Most spots will be in the waist-chest high range while the standout S facing breaks continue to see shoulder-head high surf with some bigger sets mixing in at times. Expect the sets to be on the inconsistent side…particularly on the tide drop. Winds/Weather: The weather goes into a weird transition period on Saturday. There is a storm forecast to develop off the coast, but it isn’t close enough to really affect our region (yet). Current wind forecasts are showing another day of eddy circulation, but I think that it is a bit early to tell how intense it will be. Expect variable onshore texture, mostly out of the S-SE, around 5-8 knots…winds shift more SW-WSW around 10-15 knots for the afternoon.

Sunday – (Stupid Storm )
Looks like we are going to get another round of spring storminess on Sunday…which is going to jack up the weather, especially by the afternoon. Swellwise we are going to see the S-SW swell holding/slowly fading as we move throughout the day…there will also be a mix of building S-SW-W wind/stormswell from this front as it approaches…most of that slop won’t be surfable but it will be out there mixing it up. Most S facing spots will continue to see waist-chest high surf while the standout spots see chest-head high surf. Winds/Weather:

Monday – (More stupid Storm and building swell)
The storm is forecast to peak Sunday night into Monday morning…so it looks like S-SW winds and rain will be on tap for Monday morning, which is a laaaaaame way to start a work week. Swellwise our surf will be on the way up…the W swell (260-290) that is coming along with this storm will arrive and mix with a still healthy tail end of the S-SSW swell (180-200). Most spots will be in the chest-head high range, while the top W facing spots and the excellent combo spots (mostly in Ventura, the South Bay, parts of OC, and Southern SD), will have overhead+ sets. Shape looks nasty…but maybe the weather won’t be as bad as it looks today. Winds/Weather: The front is supposed to be passing over Socal Monday morning so W winds around 10-15 knots will be on tap in the areas that the front has passed over. The spots still in the path of the front will see S winds (and rain) around 10-15 knots. All areas should see W winds around 15-20 knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
Still a little life left in the NPAC…though I am finding it harder to trust the long-range portion of the forecasts as we move further away from the winter. I am however seeing some short-range action…it looks like we have a close proximity storm forecast to form up a few hundred miles off of the California coast in the next 2-3 days.

As it develops it is supposed to set up some W-NW storm swell at the same time…

I am not sure how much stock I am willing to put into the W-NW swell from this system but for the time being the swell models like it…so I will keep some head high/overhead sizes at the top spots in the forecast, but a lot is going to depend on how this storm actually forms.

Further out the GFS weather model is calling for another similar storm (similar to the one forecast to form this weekend) forming later next week, around Friday (April 16). If this lives up to forecasts we could see some more weather, and possibly more W-NW swell hitting around April 18-20.

South Pacific
Looks like we are going to see a long string of overlapping S-SW swells moving out of the South Pacific for at least the next week…possibly holding onto some sort of energy till almost the end of the month.

First up is a decent sized SSW-SW swell (190-215) that started to arrive on Thursday with some long-period energy. This swell will turn more S-SSW’erly and peak Friday afternoon, holding into Saturday, and then backing down slowly Sunday/Monday. As this one peaks it looks good for chest-shoulder high+ surf at the average SSW facing breaks and head high+ sets at the standout SW facing breaks.

Further out there are a bunch more storms that roll through the SPAC…if you looked just at the flat-map version of the swell model you would start to think they weren’t all that good looking…but if you look at the model in a “globe” projection, which is the most realistic view…

…you can see that there is a whole section of the storm track that lines up well with Socal…some of it is shadowed by the SPAC islands but there is enough wind headed our direction that we can expect some playful swell.

At this point it looks like another S-SSW swell (180-200) moves in with chest-shoulder high+ surf on April 13-14 (mostly the 14th). Then another shot of SSW-SW swell (200-220) would start filling in on the 15-16th…likely peaking late on the 16th and into the 17th. Even further out it looks like we could see more SSW swell heading our way for the 19th…but this last one still has a few days before developing.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Jonathan M said...

Glad to have you back.

Jacob said...

It was torture without you i had to use SURFLINE...

Anonymous said...


t. walt said...

Thought maybe you went the way of Wavewatch, sucked up by the sucky pay-for-info site.