Thursday, April 22, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 4/22/2010

Forecast Overview

Happy Earth Day! Make sure to hug your planet…it is the only one we got! Looks like we are getting a break in the weather as we head into the weekend. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday all look like surf days with light winds and enough swell to keep us having some fun. Monday looks good too…but there may be a little more onshore wind starting to swirl around…forecasts are calling for more storm action around the middle of next week. More S-SW swell lining up out the back.

Short Range (next 4 days)

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.

Saturday – (some combo swell)
Saturday is looking like a surf day…it may not be as “consistent” as Friday as the windswell drops off a touch more…but there will be more S-SW swell (180-210) and a new background pulse of NW swell (290-300) both filling in to replace the fading windswell. Most spots will continue to run around waist-chest high on sets. The well exposed S-SW facing spots will see more waist-shoulder high surf while the standout NW/SW combo spots see some head high+ sets. Winds/Weather: Weather looks nice on Saturday. Light and variable winds on tap for the morning with some building onshore flow for the afternoon. Look for clean conditions early and then NW winds around 10-14 knots pushing in through the second half of the day.

Sunday – (more combo energy)
More SW swell (190-215) moves in and mixes with the already showing S-SW swell and background NW swell (290-300). The local windswell may come up a touch at the well exposed spots as well. Look for more consistent chest high surf at the average spots while the standout S-SW combo breaks see shoulder-head high surf with some rare plus sets showing on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: A little bit of eddy starts to spin up on Sunday…but not enough to junk up the morning. Expect more light and variable winds for most areas early on and then NW winds around 10-14 knots by the afternoon.

Monday – (more combo love)
Not much change on Monday…the mix of S-SW swells (180-220) and smaller WNW-NW energy (285-300) will continue to hold…but may lose a little bit of consistency. Expect more chest-high surf at the average spots while the standout breaks see more head high, and slightly bigger sets on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: The slight eddy circulation continues on Monday but winds still look pretty manageable. Look for light winds…with some southerly texture in a few areas…but most clean. Look for NW winds 10-15 knots on tap for the afternoon.


North Pacific
Over the next few days we will see a mix of dropping local windswell and some longer-period NW energy from storms that have skirted the edge of our swell window. The biggest size is actually peaking right now…but it will continue to fade slowly through Friday and continue to drop as we move through the weekend.

Further out there is another high-latitude low-pressure forming North of Hawaii…this is forecast to push closer to the coast over the next few days…setting up some new WNW-NW swell (285-300) for around the 28th.

The sucky part is that this storm is forecast to ride the swell right into California…so we could be looking at a pretty similar situation to the weather we just had…namely, an increase in WNW-NW swell but strong onshore winds blowing right over top of it as it arrives.

If this is the case it will probably be jacking up a bunch of our S-SW swell out in the water around the same time. Cross your fingers that this model is just being a Debbie Downer and that the “weather” portion of this storm stays out of our region.

South Pacific
Plenty of energy on the way from the South Pacific…there has been a pretty consistent stream of storms moving through both our S and SW swell windows and thanks to that activity we can expect a series of overlapping pulses that will keep the S facing breaks alive with chest-shoulder high+ surf through the weekend.

The start of a bigger SSW-SW pulse (190-220) begins arriving Sunday and Monday (April 25-26th) but the meat of the swell arrives on Wednesday-Friday (April 28-30th). This one looks good for consistent chest-shoulder high surf at the average spots and overhead sets at the standout SW breaks as it peaks.

Further out it looks like there is going to be another pretty intense low moving in the SPAC swell window in about 5-6 days. Check out the charts…

This storm is showing a lot of good qualities. It is positioned in a non-shadowed area of the SPAC, it has some strong South-to-North movement, it gets a bunch of extra-tropical energy bridging through the mid-latitudes as it really pulls together, and it is 1000+ miles closer than the last bigger storm…all of which are good things. Too bad we have to wait almost a full week for it to form. If this storm does live up to forecasts it would likely send an overhead S-SSW swell (180-210) that would hit around May 5-6th.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, April 26nd, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

fyi- ventura had nice conditions for a few hours this morning. i have noticed that we generally have cleaner wind conditions about one day earlier than u predict. just thought u might want to know. still love the report.

Anonymous said...

sometimes my work takes me from san diego to north of point conception. it is mind boggling how much variation there can be in the wind at different points in the coast.