Monday, April 19, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/19/2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/19/2010

Forecast Overview

We will have a few rideable waves early on Tuesday…but then onshore winds start to pick up through the afternoon. Stormy conditions and strong onshore W winds are going to trash things on Wednesday, probably still trash things on Thursday, and then finally clean up on Friday and on into the weekend.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Tuesday – (A few fun ones…nothing great…but with a storm out the back)
The day starts off ok…just a mix of SSW-SW swells (190-220) and a touch of local windswell for the morning. Look for average spots to be in the waist-high range while the standout SW facing breaks see some chest-shoulder high+ sets. S-SW winds are forecast to develop by late afternoon and it looks like local windswell will be on the rise by sunset. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds in the morning…maybe some light pockets of texture at the more open beaches. S-SW winds will start to increase, particularly up around Ventura/Santa Barbara areas, by the afternoon. Spots further south (SD and OC) will have some lighter winds around 10-12 knots. The spots closer to point conception will get gusts hitting 15 knots with some stronger winds moving in after sundown. Rain likely by then as well.

Wednesday – (Craptacular!)
Wednesday looks like CRAP in today’s forecast run…strong onshore W winds, rain, building sloppy local windswell…and the W winds don’t leave many places to hide. The local W-NW windswell is modeled to jump up into the head high to well overhead range for the well-exposed spots (Mostly Ventura, the South Bay, and especially Southern San Diego), but with bad conditions it isn’t going to mean much. Winds/Weather: The NWS is calling for a “Gale Watch” for Wednesday, which means winds could top 35-40 knots…which if you don’t mind the pun…blows. Most spots can expect W winds 15-25 knots for most of the day with gusts hitting 35+ knots from LA on up through Santa Barbara. Oh and throw in some possible thunderstorms and a potential for a “winter storm warning” for the grapevine.

Thursday – (More onshore wind and pooptacular conditions)
The weather is supposed to chill out a bit on Thursday but not clean up all that much…most of the forecast models are calling for things to still be pretty unstable. Expect a mix of short-period WNW-NW stormswell…still running head high at most of the exposed spots and a few feet overhead at the standouts. SW swell will be in the background but between the wind/weather funkiness it is not looking like much of a surf day. Winds/Weather: WNW-NW winds around 10-20 knots on tap for most of the day…but finally breaking later in the evening. Look for some leftover drizzle…and then drier conditions later in the afternoon.

Friday – (Finally cleaning up)
Conditions finally improve on Friday…and if the wind lays down fast enough on Thursday evening it could even be sort of fun. In the water we will have a mix of dropping WNW-NW windswell and a new S-SSW swell (190-215). Look for average exposed spots to be in the chest-shoulder high range while the standout NW facing areas, mostly San Diego, will have some shoulder-head high surf. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds for the morning…sort of unstable, so expect some texture here and there, but below 5-6 knots for most areas. WNW-NW winds 10-15 knots will be on tap for the afternoon.


North Pacific
A pretty well developed cold front, mixing with a funky mid-latitude low-pressure are currently mixing together just off of the California Coastline this afternoon.

This newly energetic and completely sucky front will be pushing down Northern/Central California early on Tuesday and will hit our area later Tuesday night. Look for the peak of the storm to move through on Wednesday, taper off on Thursday, and then finally clean up on Friday.

Further out…high-pressure is forecast to re-strengthen around the end of the week…but there will be some storm action spinning around the edges. One low-pressure that forms up around the International Date Line in about 5-6 days, has the potential to push a steep NW swell (290-300) our way that would arrive around the 28-29th of April.

South Pacific
We will get another couple of mild S-SW pulses (190-220) that arrive this week…but they are going to get lost in the close storm nastiness of coming out of the North Pacific…so if you have some super secret S facing spot that can still pull in swell despite 20-30 knot west winds then I would go surf there.

Further out the big red blob…the one that has been on the chart for freaking forever is actually forming right now…in fact I just saw a Jason-1 pass (he is a satellite that does all kinds of spacey stuff but uses some sweet millimeter wavelength radar to measure wave heights as well) that went right through that storm...and it is showing a solid 35-40’ seas which is pretty good…wind speeds are in the 30-40 knot range which isn’t great (I would love to see some 50-60 knots in there)…but the fetch is pretty massive so that may make up for its slower wind speeds.

It looks like my initial forecasts are going to be fairly accurate. We are going to get some initial SW swell (200-220) pushing up around the 25th…and then the bigger SW swell around the 27-28th. The swell will still 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…maybe even a few bigger waves at those spots that really focus these sort of swells.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

Long Range Surf Forecast, Long Range Surf Forecast Update, stormy this week, S-SW swells hiding in the background, cleanup later this week

1 comment:

spencer said...

MAN, I love how simple you make everything. Thanks!