Thursday, April 15, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/15/2010

Forecast Overview

We will see more combo swell action for the next few days as a mix of S-SW swells push in out of the Southern Hemisphere and the NPAC sets up some semi-local/local NW energy. Looks like a shot at some more storm swell (and more Southern Hemi) for the middle of next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (Overlapping Southern Hemi swells with a touch of windswell)
There will be a new SSW-SW swell (190-210) filling in on Friday while the first S-swell (175-190) fades out. NW swell and NW windswell will be on the rise in the background but it will continue to be a pretty steeply angled NW’er (290+) and won’t make much of an appearance at most breaks. Look for average exposed spots to see waist-chest high surf with a few chest-shoulder high sets on the lower tides. Top S facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets mixing in through the morning…look for a few bigger sets at the standout S/NW combo breaks. Winds/Weather: Light and variable for the morning. Look for building W winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Saturday – (Combo of S-SW and NW windswell)
The energy from the Southern Hemi S-SW swells (175-210) will hold on Saturday with the first S swell dropping off a bit more and the new SSW-SW swell filling in. NW energy will continue to hold in the background but more NW windswell will be blending into the mix which should help to build wave heights at the best exposed breaks. Average spots will continue to see waist-chest high+ surf while the standout S-SW facing breaks and the best combo spots see chest-head high surf. Winds/Weather: Winds look mostly light and variable to light offshore in the morning. W-NW winds around 10-15 knots build in through the afternoon.

Sunday – (More combo swell)
The mix of the S-SW swells get a third swell (200-220 to mix with the 175-210 that was already in the water)…these Southern Hemi swells will continue to combo up with steady WNW-NW energy (mostly NW windswell 290+). Not a ton of change in the surf size…but the focal spots might shift a bit. Continue to expect chest-shoulder high surf at the average exposed spots, particularly the S-SW facing spots. The standout S-SW facing breaks and top combo spots will have shoulder-head high surf with a few bigger sets mixing in on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Still pretty light winds in the morning…maybe a touch of onshore texture down in Southern San Diego and at a couple of the more exposed spots…but overall it will be below 5 knots for the morning. Variable onshore WSW-W winds around 10-12 knots for the afternoon.

Monday – (take a guess…yep more combo swell)
The combo of S-SW and W-NW swell continues on Monday…with more SW and some new W-WNW swell moving in to reinforce the fading energy from the weekend. Average spots will continue to see surf in the waist-chest high range with some inconsistent shoulder high sets. Standout breaks will have shoulder-head high surf…maybe some plus sets still lurking at the best combo spots. Winds/Weather: More light morning winds…mostly variable below 5 knots but with a couple of pockets of S-SW texture might be possible at the really exposed beaches. Chance for increasing clouds and maybe some drizzle by late Monday evening.


North Pacific
The NPAC continues to be a bit unstable…there is already a little low-pressure that formed between Hawaii and the West Coast that is forecast to continue to track our direction for the next couple of days, potentially pushing through Southern Cal/Northern Baja by early/mid next week….but this thing has been all over the charts so who knows what it will really do. Here is a shot of this little spinner on the GOES satellite.

At the same time the mid-latitude system is forecast to move into our region it looks like a drier, colder front may move in from the Gulf of Alaska…sort of trailing out behind a stronger storm that has been moving under the Aleutian Islands.

Right now the weather/wave models are calling for these two to mix it up just off the coast on Monday and then move into our areas on Tuesday/Wednesday. If that ends up happening we will likely see some sort of storm/windswell picking up from the W-NW as the front hits. Not sure on size (the swell models really like it…but they smoke a lot of crack before throwing out the long-range stuff) so we will have to keep an eye on it over the next couple of days. Check out the swell-height from wavewatchIII...

South Pacific
If you read the short-range then you know that there is plenty of swell on our way from the South Pacific. We have the S swell that peaked mid-week fading out over the next several days…and in the meantime, another shot of waist-shoulder high SSW-SW swell (190-210) starts filling in on Friday and the peaking on Saturday (April 16-17). This will be followed by another similar sized, waist-chest high+ SW’er that is a touch more southwesterly (200-220) that would arrive on Monday April 19.

This red-blob is still showing on the long-range charts…a little less intense than the super-duper-long-range forecast had it showing on Monday…but still there, still a bit shadowed for Socal, but still showing a good sized swell for spots like Tahiti and the other SPAC islands before it eventually moves up our way.

If this lives up to forecasts we would see a smaller pulse from a storm just in front of this big one…that would arrive around the 25th…and then the bigger SW swell around the 27-28th. I am not as fired up on this swell since it will pass through that SPAC island shadow...but it should still do a pretty good job setting up some shoulder-head high+ for our standouts by the time it peaks.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Danimal said...

Hey Adam,

I will be honeymooning on the South Shore of Kauai April 26 - May 3...I'm trying to figure out what boards to bring...any idea what the surf will be doing? Anything helps. I'm not askin' ya to name spots, maybe just a general idea. Thanks.


rcompton said...

Yeah! I bought a cheap ticket to HI a few months back and it looks like this upcoming weekend will be great.