Thursday, May 13, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 5/13/2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 5/13/2010

Forecast Overview
Solid S swell will fill in on Friday setting up overhead surf for the well exposed spots through the weekend. This swell will back down slowly starting on Sunday but will hold plenty of rideable waves through the first part of next week. Look for more S-SSW swell lining up out the back…chance for another overhead+ shot of energy for around the 20-21st (and even more after that)…thank you Southern Hemisphere!

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (new swell fills in fast)
The S-SSW swell (180-210) moves in and peaks on Friday…NW windswell holds smaller in the background. While the main part of the swell’s peak hits in the afternoon there will be plenty of energy showing through the morning as the swell continues to fill in. Look for average S facing spots to see surf in the chest-head high range. The standout S-SSW facing breaks, mostly through Orange County and parts of San Diego, will see some shoulder-overhead surf fairly consistently with some bigger sets going a couple of feet+ overhead at times. Breaks that can really focus this sort of swell will be bigger. Winds/Weather: Light again for the morning…mostly light and variable with a touch of eddy circulation (not enough to get super funky). Look for more WNW-NW wind to build into the 10-15 knot range by the afternoon.

Saturday – (S-swell holds through the day)
The S swell (180-195) will continue to peak on Saturday holding strong throughout the day. Local NW windswell and some weak energy from further off the coast will hold in the background. S facing spots will continue to see the biggest surf with average spots running in the chest-head high range. Standout breaks will be consistently head high with overhead surf along with some inconsistent heads going a few feet overhead on the lower tides. Look for the best/size shape through the S-swell points and reefs of Orange County and San Diego. North LA will also be pretty fun but it will be smaller than other areas thanks to some blockage from the local islands. Winds/Weather: Winds will be light through the morning…mostly light/variable but with a few pockets of light offshore flow near the passes and canyons. Look for onshore W winds around 10-14 knots through the afternoon.

Sunday – (the S swell starts to slowly drop…but still plenty of surf for us)
The S swell (180-190) will back off slowly on Sunday but there is enough junk in the trunk of this swell to keep plenty of waves showing at the exposed areas throughout the day. The mix of local NW windswell will come up a couple of notches as well…but it has a pretty steep angle so most breaks won’t be able to pick up much of it. Average waves will continue to be in the chest-head high range. The standout S facing breaks will be in the shoulder-overhead range on the sets…along with a few bigger waves through the morning. Winds/Weather: Another good wind day…mostly light and variable in the morning with some moderate onshore flow in the afternoon. Winds stay mostly below 10 knots for the majority of the day but expect some bump from lunchtime trough the afternoon.

Monday – (Fading S swell…still surfable though)
The S swell (180-190) continues to fade on Monday while the NW windswell starts to creep up a bit more. Look for the average S facing spots and the good NW windswell breaks will have surf in the waist-shoulder high range. The standout spots will be in the chest-head high range with some occasional head high+ sets still showing on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: Looking a little more eddyish on Monday…not totally blow out but with enough southerly texture bump to it that it might get a little funky. Look for variable S-SW flow through the morngin around 5-6 knots with some stronger gusts moving through the afternoon.


North Pacific
The NPAC continues to be pretty quiet…but it looks like the forecast models are trying to call my bluff on saying that the region was completely out of the game. Short-term look for a mix of weak local NW windswells as well as some very marginal energy from storms that have developed off to the West of the International Dateline.

Further out the charts are showing some increasing organization of a storm just on the edge of our swell window. If this system can actually form we would see some steeply angled, but potentially rideable mix of NW energy arriving through the 2nd half of next week. Check out the wavewatchIII model...

This storm is a ways out…so my money is that the storm won’t really develop like the forecast model thinks (if it even forms at all). Likely it will be something more like an upper-level low that helps to spin up the springy winds later next week…but since it is on the charts today it is worth keeping in the forecast.

South Pacific
The SPAC seems to be firing on all cylinders right now. There is a high-pressure parked over Northern New Zealand that seems to be funneling the storms right into a great spot in our swell window…and at the same time this high is forcing some of the regions tropical energy to bounce back and dump a ton of warm/moist air into the colder high-latitude storms. The blend of these two elements have let a few back-to-back storms slip through Socal’s S-SSW swell window, which means that the swell doesn’t have to pass through all the islands that usually chew it up.

We have a solid swell that will be peaking over the weekend that will give the summer spots several days of overhead surf before it fades out. This will be followed by another good sized S-SSW swell (180-210) that moves in some initial energy around the 19th but peaks more the 20-21st. Check out a shot of the WINDsat data from a couple of days ago…

These winds were well-positioned and sort of moved along a path established by a weaker front that pushed through about 12-18 hours earlier...they also continued to move along this path for the next day or so which will really put the finishing touches on this swell. At this point I am expecting another round of shoulder-head high+ surf at the average (but well exposed) S facing spots. The standout S swell breaks will be in the shoulder-overhead range with sets going a couple of feet+ overhead.

The swell for the 20-21st will barely have time to drop before another S-SSW swell (180-210) moves in. Forecast charts are showing another, well-positioned and intense storm forming in about 2-3 days.

Again this one is seeing some heavy extra-tropical influence so I am expecting some solid sea-heights in the storm…wavewatchIII is calling for 40-45 foot seas near the core (holy crap!). If this storm lives up to expectations we would see another overhead+ S-SSW swell (180-210) headed our way for May 24-25th. This, like most of those swells, have most of their energy heading toward Central America and Mainaland Mexico, so if you are looking for supersize surf you might head down that way.

This isn’t the only system in the long-range either…the extreme long-range charts are calling for another storm to form in about the same spot in about 5-6 days, which would have yet another S-SSW swell homing in on Socal for around the 28-29th. This one isn’t locked in stone, but I think the odds are looking pretty good at this point.

Oh man…it is almost that time of year again! The official start of the Eastern Pacific tropical season is May 15th (Saturday)…so it is time to start watching that region a little closer…nothing brewing right now, but the tropics may not have gotten memo that the season starts in 2 days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this! Any forecast for the 2010 hurricane season?

Adam Wright said...

I will probably put together a tropical outlook for 2010 in a couple of days...but just having some marginally warmer water leftover from the El Nino will go a long ways to helping intensify our tropical things are looking up at this point.

Anonymous said...

dude, you are smart as hell! muchas gracias, amigo.

greg said...

and muchas gracias to el nino and the pacific ocean

spidahdakneeridah said...

I just want to take a moment here Adam and thank you for all your efforts in bringing us these accurate and detailed forecasts. After having such a great winter and spring, a pumping hurricane season would really be the icing on the cake. Once again, thankyou.

Anonymous said...

Yes Adam, i too will fluff you. I have come to depend on your forecasts to plan my work week so i can maximize surf time. Thanks for the great site

Anonymous said...

Adam its really awesome you take the time to help out a bunch of people you dont even know, thanks alot for all you do
Btw, uh you work in the ''surf industry'' you must have connects right? You think you can talk npac to stop being so windy?