Monday, May 24, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 5/24/2010

Forecast Overview
S-SSW swell will drop slowly over the next few days as the bigger swell fades out. Fortunately there is more Southern Hemi energy on tap that will help to prop up decent sized surf for the next week or so. Local winds will continue to be a bit of a pain in the ass but it looks like Tuesday morning should be ok…more wind moves in Wednesday/Thursday but the upcoming holiday weekend should be nicer, both for surf conditions and weather.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Tuesday – (slowly fading S swell with plenty of energy still hanging on)
The S-SSW swell (180-210) will be slowly fading on Tuesday while the NW windswell continues to hold around the same size. Most S facing spots and decent combo spots will have surf in the chest-shoulder high range with a few rare head high sets mixing in. The standout S facing spots and top combo breaks will be head high to slightly overhead on sets with a few bigger waves showing through the morning. Winds/Weather: Winds look mostly light in the morning…sort of light/variable onshore up around Santa Barbara and down through North LA. Look for more Northerly winds around OC and SD through the morning. W winds in the 13-18 knot range return in the afternoon.

Wednesday – (mixing S swells and more local windswell)
The S-SSW swell from the weekend will continue to drop off but wave heights won’t be fading all that fast thanks to a new mix of S-SSW swells that move up from the Southern Hemi to reinforce the fading energy. NW windswell continues to hold slightly smaller than earlier in the week. Most spots will continue to see chest-shoulder high surf with some bigger sets showing at S facing spots. The standout S swell spots will be in the chest-head high range with some inconsistent overhead sets still showing at times. Winds/Weather: Winds look ok through midweek but another cold front will be moving into Socal that may destabilize the morning flow. At this point look for semi-clean conditions early…but with a few pockets of light onshore texture that may plague a few spots. Look for W winds 12-15 knots to fill in through the afternoon.

Thursday – (even more S swell…the hits just keep on coming)
Yet another pulse of the S-SSW swell (180-220) moves in on Thursday mixing with the energy that filled in on Wednesday and the leftovers from the bigger swell that hit over the weekend. Wave heights will be pretty similar...lots of spots will be in the chest-shoulder high+ range while the standout S facing spots still get up to a couple of feet overhead at times. Summer spots will continue to be the biggest, but the windswell breaks will do pretty well too. Winds/Weather: Onshore winds increase on Thursday as the new cold-front moves out of the area. Look for W winds for the morning, mostly below 5 knots, and then W winds around 10-20 knots for the afternoon.

Friday – (S swell + windswell+ winds = funky)
The overlapping mix of S-SW swell (180-220) will continue on Friday while new NW windswell starts to pulse up in the background. Look for the average spots to be back into the chest-head high range while the standout S facing breaks and good combo spots see some overhead sets. Biggest size will show through San Diego and Orange county but expect surf for most other areas as well. Winds/Weather: Winds continue to look a bit will be light/variable to light onshore for the morning with winds generally staying below 5-6 knots. Look for W-NW winds around 10-18 knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
The NPAC continues to kick out some poorly positioned cold-fronts and weak storm systems…and like the last couple of weeks they have been either waaaay off over by Japan or moving down the West Coast. We just had (still have) strong W-NW winds that have been junking up this S swell by swirling in a witches brew of short-period windchop/swell…this will back down slightly over the next couple of days but then another front moves in around Wednesday/Thursday.

This next one looks like it will be good for another round of head high to overhead NW windswell for the well exposed spots…not super surfable, and not doing us any favors in terms of shape…but helping to increase the size at the winter spots. Look for this lumpy swell to arrive later on Wednesday and holding through Friday.

South Pacific
Still a hell of a lot of energy being thrown around in the South Pacific…and plenty of energy that is going to get pushed up towards Southern California. We can expect this bigger shot of S-SSW swell that peaked on Sunday to slowly fade over the next few days…but not dropping that fast thanks to reinforcing pulses of S-SSW swell that arrive on Wednesday and again on Thursday. These pulses will be good for more shoulder-head high surf at the average S facing spots and some overhead sets at the standouts.

There is another storm forming this afternoon that is already starting to throw up some 40-50 knot winds in key areas of its fetch (the parts aimed toward Socal). This swell will push our way over the next week or so…

We can expect another round of S-SSW swell (180-210) arriving around May 31st and then holding for a few days into June as a closely following swell hits right after the initial pulse. This round of Southern Hemi swell isn’t huge, but it should be good for consistent shoulder-head high surf at the average spots and some overhead sets at the standouts.

Further out the storm track is still looking pretty active on the long-range charts…so it looks like we will have some sort of Southern Hemi energy holding for the first week of June and possibly longer…now we just need these local winds to stop.

Still no activity in the tropics…and all the NW wind coming down the coast over the next couple of days doesn’t help TS formation…so no new storms are expected to form over the next few days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

Mother nature is getting back for spewing her oil all over the place

Anonymous said...

well, shiver me timbers!

SC Fool said...

Getting back at us by sending S swell after S swell? How many is that? The fourth in three weeks by my count. I think we should be counting our blessings. Thank you Lord!