Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thursday’s Surf – Combo of S-SW swell and local NW windswell continues

Thursday look pretty surfable…the swell mix isn’t all that big, but conditions look a little cleaner in the morning than the last couple of days.

In the water we are going to see a mix of S and SW swells (180-220) along with some increasing WNW-NW windswell. The southern hemi swells are all fairly small, but there are 2 new ones filling in on remnants from earlier in the week, so they will be able to keep the surf rideable. The windswell is coming up a notch as well…which should help to show a little more combo at the exposed spots.

Sizewise…we are going to see waist-chest high surf at most of the average S facing spots…maybe a touch bigger on the midmorning tide push. The standout S-SW facing breaks and top combo breaks will be more consistently in the chest high range with a few chest-shoulder high sets sneaking around the lower tides.

Winds look a little better on Thursday…the eddy circulation is supposed to back down tonight and hold over into Thursday morning (though I never really trust sir Edward to behave). So for the morning I am expecting mostly light and variable winds for most areas with a touch of onshore texture showing up in Santa Barbara and down in South SD. Winds should be below 5-knots for most areas…and probably lighter than that if you have something to block the wind a little bit. Look for W winds to come onshore fairly strong in the afternoon. Most areas will have W-WNW winds around 12-15 knots with some gusts hitting close to 20-knots by late afternoon.

Looks like the morning will be our best bet should be semi-rideable at most breaks…even the windswell will be able to scare up a few knee-waist high lines at the purely NW facing spots. The S-SW facing breaks, mostly through OC and parts of San Diego, will have the most size…but don’t expect a lot of consistency even in those areas. I would probably stick to your small wave gear…it will help squeeze a little more fun out of the smaller in-betweeners while we wait for the bigger sets.

Here are the tides…watch the low that hits through midmorning…it isn’t a negative low, but it will still be a bit drainy.

07/01/2010 Thursday
07:09AM LDT 0.4 L
01:48PM LDT 3.9 H
07:12PM LDT 2.4 L

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waves for Wednesday – Overlapping Southern Hemi swells and onshore texture

Wednesday will be surfable…but we will continue to have the onshore wind tweaking the shape at the more exposed areas.

Swellwise our S-SW and tropical S-SE swells from earlier in the week will continue to slowly fade, but at the same time we have another round of S swell (180-190) coming in from the Southern Hemi that will help to keep the surf from dropping very much.

The average S facing spots will be in the waist to chest high range with some shoulder high+ sets showing on the tide push. The standout S facing breaks, mostly the top breaks in Orange County, will have shoulder-head high surf and a few inconsistent head high+ sets that will sneak through on those better tides. Overall the sets will be less consistent than the last couple of days…but they should still be decent when they show.

Winds don’t look great…the models are calling for some variable onshore flow for the morning. It actually looks cleanest through Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles...winds in those areas will be below 5-6 knots and sort of shifty in direction. Orange County and San Diego can expect W-NW winds around 5-8 knots…possibly a touch lighter first thing in the morning, but pushing stronger onshore by midmorning and junking things up fairly fast. Look for W-WNW winds 12-18 knots for the afternoon.

It seems like we can’t get much of a break from these winds…sure there are some protected spots…but it would be nice to have a wider selection of breaks to pick from. Anyhoo…like I mentioned it will be surfable on Wednesday…just not all that clean…so if you can stand some bump or have a spot with some wind-protection it will be worth checking at least. I think the early morning will probably have the best shape, but you will want to stick to spots that can handle a lower tide…or some wind blockage.

Here are the tides…

06/30/2010 Wednesday
06:38AM LDT 0.0 L
01:11PM LDT 3.8 H
06:15PM LDT 2.4 L
11:53PM LDT 4.6 H

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tuesday’s Surf – Slowly fading but still fun

Tuesday looks pretty surfable…and if you don’t mind a bit of texture it will be pretty playful at the well exposed spots.

Our mix of S-SW swell (190-210) and tropical S-SE swell (170-180) will be fading on Tuesday, but there is still enough leftover energy to keep things pretty rideable. NW windswell will continue to hold in the background…but won’t be all that surfable by itself.

Average spots can expect chest-shoulder high surf with some inconsistent head high sets showing from time to time throughout the morning tide push. Standout S facing spots and excellent combo breaks, mostly through Orange County, will still have most of the sets sticking around shoulder-head high with inconsistent overhead sets. Expect the bigger sets to become less and less frequent throughout the day as the swell mix backs down.

Our morning winds are still looking a little onshorey early in the morning but the overall wind-speed is expected to be below 5-knots. In general I think we can expect light/variable to light/onshore for most spots with a touch more texture at the really wind sensitive breaks. Look for the cleanest shape at spots with some protection (like kelp, some sort of structure, or a big coastal cliff)…or at least something that can knock down the wind a little. Afternoon winds build out of the W-WNW around 10-15+ knots.

So even though the swell mix is backing down I am still expecting a few playful ones out there. Your best bet is going to be focusing on S facing beaches…especially now that the swell is dropping (the fringe spots are going to lose size and consistency pretty fast as the energy backs down). We still have some fairly low-tide in the morning which we will want to keep in mind when selecting our surf spots. I am probably going to shoot for an early to mid-morning session and see if I can get a few waves before the onshore wind gets too bad…hopefully with the swell being a little smaller the low tide will keep it from being to sectiony.

Here are the tides…hope you get a few tomorrow.

06/29/2010 Tuesday
06:06AM LDT -0.4 L
12:35PM LDT 3.7 H
05:27PM LDT 2.3 L
11:17PM LDT 5.1 H

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 6/28/2010

Forecast Overview
- Tuesday the mix of S-SW and S-SE swell will continue to back off while conditions look a little cleaner through the morning.
- Wednesday the swell from earlier in the week continues to drop while smaller new pulses help to reinforce the fading energy.
- Thursday looks a touch smaller thanks to weaker southern hemi energy, NW windswell builds up at the exposed spots
- Friday will see more small/playful sizes, with some occasional sets pulsing through at the well exposed breaks. NW windswell continues to hold on in the background
- A new S swell fills in (on Saturday) and peaks (on Sunday) setting up some overhead+ surf for the better S facing spots. Look for this swell to linger through most of next week. Cleaner conditions and holiday madness will be on tap through the weekend as well.

Short Range (next 4 days + 2 bonus days!)

Tuesday – (good-sized leftovers)
If you don’t mind a little texture, Tuesday is looking like a surf day. Our southern S-SW swell (190-210) will be slowly dropping, Hurricane Celia’s S-SE tropical swell (170-180) will be backing off as it turns more southerly, and the NW windswell will continue to hold in the background. Average S facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets as the tide pushes in. Top S-SE exposed breaks, and the good SW/SE combo spots, will be in the shoulder-head high range with sets still going overhead and even overhead+ at times. The pure NW windswell breaks will be around waist high on mushy sets. Winds/Weather: Winds will be a light/variable to light-onshore for the morning…with overall wind speeds holding under 5 knots. Look for W-WNW winds around 10-15 knots by the afternoon.

Wednesday – (reinforcements keeping it playful)
The swell S-SE and S-SW mix from Tuesday will fade as we head into Wednesday but another Southern Hemi S swell (180-190) as well as a boost in WNW-NW windswell will help to keep wave heights from dropping too far. Average S facing breaks will be in the chest-shoulder high range pretty consistently…with a few shoulder high+ sets sneaking in on the lower tides. Standout S facing breaks, mostly through Orange County, will be in the shoulder-head high range…again with a few inconsistent head high+ sets showing on the better tides. Winds/Weather: The winds will start off a bit more light/onshore than Tuesday…so we can expect some more texture/crumble to the more sensitive spots. Look for light W winds around 3-5 knots for most areas through the morning…and then W-NW winds around 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Thursday – (less S-SW swell and more NW windswell)
The mix of S-SW and leftover tropical S swell will back down a bit more on Thursday, though we do get some minor S and SW pulses filtering through the background that will help to keep some surf showing at the better exposed spots. The NW windswell will be on the rise as well thanks to increasing winds in the outer waters. Look for more waist-chest high surf at the average S facing breaks and the better combo spots. The standout S-SW facing spots and the best S/NW combo spots will have some chest-shoulder high surf with a few rare bigger sets. Winds/Weather: The eddy is showing for Thursday morning…not super strong, but enough to drive in some funky texture at the more exposed spots. Look for W-NW winds around 5-10 knots for Ventura and Santa Barbara, some variable wind through LA, and S-SSE flow through OC and SD during the morning. W winds around 10-15+ knots will return by midafternoon.

Friday – (grinding along)
The surf continues to hold on Friday as we see a couple more S and SW pulses moving into the background. These will mix with our existing energy keeping the blend of S-SW swell (180-215) showing for most exposed areas. NW windswell continues to hold onto some ok size at the same time. Look for the average S-SW facing spots to see waist-chest high surf. Standout S-SW facing spots, mostly through Orange County again, will have some chest-shoulder high surf with some head high sets on the low tide, particularly at the well exposed combo breaks that can mix in some of the windswell. Winds/Weather: A weak eddy will continue to hold over the area on Friday…setting up some light/onshore texture for most areas (W winds for the SB/Ventura areas, variable winds for LA, and light S-SW winds for OC/SD). Look for W winds around 10-15 knots to build through midafternoon.

Saturday - (new S swell starts to arrive, building fast in the afternoon)
Saturday will start with similar sizes to Friday…still plenty of background S-SW energy along with some local WNW-NW windswell. Expect waist-chest high waves at the average spots with some shoulder high+ sets at the standouts. At the same time…a new S swell (175-190) will start to show long-period energy in the background. This new S swell will fill in fast by the afternoon and I expect there to be some overhead sets hitting the top S facing spots by the end of the day. Winds/Weather: The eddy will still show through the morning but it will start to lighten up…so overall cleaner conditions will be on tap for most areas. Onshore winds return through the afternoon.

Sunday the 4th of July - (Large S swell peaks and chaos ensues)
A large S-swell (175-190) will start to peak on Sunday…showing strong throughout the day, but largest through the afternoon. Most S facing spots will see consistent chest-head high surf with some overhead sets mixing in. The standout S facing spots, again mostly in Orange County (but at a few other select breaks as well ), will see consistent shoulder-overhead surf with sets going 2-3’ overhead. We can expect even bigger sets at the best-of-the-best spots that can focus this swell. Of course this is the holiday so expect some crazy crowds at the beach, plenty of early blackball, and a general state of chaos. Really I am just hoping that no one gets hurt or drowned (not because the swell is out of control…mostly just because of the nature of having bigger waves on a holiday). Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds in the morning with some light offshore flow in a few spots. Winds come onshore around midday and build out of the WNW at 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
Still quiet in the North Pacific…no significant storms…hell there aren’t even minor storms.

About the only thing the NPAC has going is the NE High-pressure and the little gap of winds that it is letting run down the California Coast. These winds will be able to spit out a bit of NW windswell (even slightly WNW-NW at times) on and off throughout the week. Look for a small increase around Wednesday and again as we head into the weekend.

South Pacific
The South Pacific continues to crank out swell…all sorts of swell…little inconsistent ones, big ones, medium ones, SW-S-SE, you name it. Since I think we all like waves…this is a good thing. Over the next few days we are going to see an overlapping mix of S and SW swells (180-220)…none are particularly big, except the slightly overhead one that peaked late on Sunday/Monday (and had some tropical reinforcement)…but they will continue to push rideable surf into exposed spots Tuesday-Friday.

I am sure that you just noticed that giant red line stacked up behind the smaller swell mix (for the work week)…yep that is the S swell for the weekend (glad that it was written on the chart).

That swell is coming in from a storm that just pushed through the South Pacific…right in that “sweet-spot” of the wide-open swell window located between Tahiti and South America. This storm really pulled things together over the last couple of days, as we were heading into the weekend it picked up a large dose of extra-tropical energy that kicked off some serious winds right in a key area of fetch. Check out the winds recorded on the WINDsat.

And here is that fetch up close…

You can see, as the storm’s winds peaked, it managed to set up a fetch of 40-50+ knot winds about 1000 miles long and 700-800 miles wide. And if that wasn’t enough… those winds were just piled up on top of some already decent 30-40 knot winds that had been blowing in the same place for at least 24-30 hours before the strong stuff started.

All of this wind going the same direction managed to set up some serious looking seas…a solid 35- to almost 40-foot in some areas, which is pretty impressive.

Over the next few days our S swell will continue to move out of that stormy area and get more organized as it tracks across the pacific…eventually moving into Socal on Saturday July 3rd and then peaking Sunday-Monday July 4-5th. This storm still has a bit of trailing fetch in place, generating surf, so even after the first part of the swell peaks we can expect decent sized waves to stick around for a few days afterward.

You probably read this in the short-range…but I am expecting some pretty solid surf from this storm. Average exposed S-facing spots will be in the shoulder-head high range with some inconsistent head high+ sets mixing in as the swell peaks. The standout S facing breaks will be a solid head high/overhead+ on average with sets going 2-3’ overhead (and bigger at the best breaks) on the better parts of the tide swing. Look for this surf to start winding down on Tuesday (July 6) but holding rideable surf at least through Thursday (july 8).

Further out there isn’t a ton of organization at this point on the long-range charts but I am seeing more storm activity, both over and under New Zealand (which is about how this last storm spun up)…so it will be worth watching this area over the next few days.

Finally I get a little break from looking at tropical storms.

Celia and Darby have both weakened back down to Tropical Depressions…and it looks like Darby is already becoming an remnant low-pressure this afternoon.

Celia is expected to weaken back to remnant low strength sometime on Tuesday.

No other tropical systems are forecast to form for the next couple of days…

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

Well that isn’t good…Tropical Storm Alex intensifies in the Gulf of Mexico

Things are not looking all that great, (even less great than a catastrophic oil spill normally would be), for the Gulf Oil Spill this week…Tropical Storm Alex, who formed down by the Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend is now working her way up into the Gulf proper. She is expected to intensify over the next 24 hours, likely becoming a hurricane by Tuesday.

While her track is forecast to swing her over into the Mexico/Texas border…there is a slim chance that her influence could be felt over by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Well and the spill areas.

There will probably be some swell pushed toward Louisiana from Alex, as it intensifies into a Hurricane…exactly how much will depend on how strong the storm becomes, and how fast it moves.

In any case even a small swell moving through the spill (and pushing it further up the affected beaches) isn’t going to help clean up. Let’s cross our fingers that it doesn’t spend a lot of time generating waves for the region.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Monday’s Surf – Plenty of swell and a freaking low tide

Monday looks surfable…we will continue to have plenty of swell in the water… but we will need to keep an eye on conditions as we try and power through a really low morning tide and some leftover eddy texture.

Swellwise we will have a mix of peaking SSW-SW swell (190-220), peaking S-SE tropical swell (170-180) from hurricane Celia, and some background NW windswell. It looks like it will be biggest through the morning, but with plenty of size and consistency showing into the afternoon, particularly at the unshadowed SW facing spots.

Most average S-SW facing breaks can expect surf in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets showing at the better unshadowed breaks. The top spots, the best S-SSE facing beaches and the best S-SW combo spots…mostly through Orange County, will have surf in the shoulder-head high+ range with sets going a couple of feet overhead…maybe even a tad bigger on the best tides. Expect spots with good exposure to the tropical S-SE swell direction to be more consistent than other breaks.

Winds look ok…not great…but mostly light in the morning. The wind models are calling for light/variable winds for the morning, but they are giving it some slightly eddyish spin, which may add some texture to the more open/wind sensitive areas, especially through San Diego and Orange County. Look for W winds to pick up through the afternoon eventually hitting 10-15 knots later in the day.

Like I said, there will be plenty of swell in the water on Monday, probably a bit too much for most of the beach breaks…so it looks like the points and reefs are going to have the best shape. Oh it won’t be unsurfable at the beaches, but expect a lot of closeouts, plenty of current to paddle against, and only a handful of makeable corners. There will be a little bit of windswell in the water so if you are looking for smaller surf sizes you might want to check out the breaks that are more combo-y with SW swell and NW windswells. Expect the cleanest conditions in the morning but the negative low-tide is going to roll through right around sunup so you will want to keep that in mind when you pick your spot.

Here are the tides…

06/28/2010 Monday
05:34AM LDT -0.6 L (sucky!)
12:01PM LDT 3.7 H
04:46PM LDT 2.3 L
10:43PM LDT 5.5 H

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The mix of new SE and SW swells are filling in

Southern Hemi swell and new Tropical swell from Hurricane Celia are starting to show on the buoys this evening...along with some new lines, (and a almost evening glass-off) showing on the beach before dark.

Check out the live buoys here...

...and if you need some help understanding the buoys you can check this out

Hopefully the winds will stay light through tomorrow morning.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Waves for the Weekend – SW swell and some tropical SE-S swell from Hurricane Celia

Overall I would call this weekend rideable…but it will be hampered from reaching its true potential by local winds. (Stupid Eddy…I bet it is controlled by the dolphins.)

There will be surf this weekend…we have new SW swell (190-220) starting to fill in on Saturday, eventually peaking on Sunday and holding into Monday. On Saturday we will also have a mix of background tropical energy, some SW leftovers from TS Blas and some new SE forerunners form Hurricane Celia, but neither will bring in very much size. Look for NW windswell to hold steady in the background.

We can expect average spots to see surf in the chest high range with some inconsistent shoulder high sets pulsing in at the better SW facing breaks. The top S-SW spots and the excellent combo breaks will have more consistent chest-shoulder high surf with some head high sets showing by the end of the day. Maybe even a few plus sets at times at the best sets.

Winds look light in the morning…with a little W flow around Santa Barbara and Ventura, variable winds throughout LA, and light Southerly winds for Orange County and San Diego. Most areas will see winds below 10-knots, but expect some texture at the more open breaks.

Sunday the SW swell (190-220) will start to peak, while new tropical SSE-SE swell moves in from Celia and the NW windswell continues to stick around in the background.

Average spots with S-SW exposure will see surf in the chest-head high range…a little inconsistent on the sets if the break is only exposed to the SW energy. The standout S facing spots, particularly the breaks that can pull in both SW and SE swell like a few of those in Orange County, will have surf in the shoulder-overhead range…with some larger sets, likely a couple of feet overhead, showing by late in the day. (the peak of the tropical swell will likely arrive on Monday).

Winds look a bit lighter on Sunday…the eddy flow will still be out there, but in general it won’t be as intense. Look for light onshore texture from the W in SB and Ventura…with some more variable winds in LA. OC and SD will see the light S winds again…but winds look slower, more in the 3-5 knot range, and they get a later start too…coming in right around dawn, which should suppress the wind bump a little more.

I think there will be some fun this weekend…even some occasionally healthy sized surf as the two SW and SE swells peak. I am still being a bit conservative on the Hurricane Celia swell…especially now that she has started to back off her intensity (she is down to a Cat-4 and is still weakening)…but there is always a chance that she could have out-produced her estimated wind speeds…so I would keep an eye on the buoys as we head into Sunday and Monday.

I think the points and reefs are going to have the best shape…with these SE-SW swells in the water it is bound to get pretty lined up at the beach breaks (the SE facing beach breaks will be particularly walled up and will see a lot of side-shore and rip currents once the tropical swell fills in). Like I said above…the buoys and live swell models (like the CDIP) are going to be your friends this weekend…make sure to use them to home in on the exposed areas, (or avoid them if you want smaller surf).

Here are the tides…happy hunting this weekend…stay safe!

06/26/2010 Saturday
04:26AM LDT -1.0 L
10:53AM LDT 3.6 H
03:28PM LDT 2.2 L
09:33PM LDT 6.0 H

06/27/2010 Sunday
05:01AM LDT -0.9 L
11:27AM LDT 3.6 H
04:07PM LDT 2.2 L
10:08PM LDT 5.8 H

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tropical Alert - Hurricane Celia goes Category 5

The National Hurricane Center estimates that Hurricane Celia reached Category 5 strength this afternoon. Sustained winds are around 140-knots with gusts reaching 170-knots.

What does this mean for her swell?

Well these storms are notoriously finicky…and even the ones that look like home runs can fail to produce swell. Remember Hurricane Norbert from a couple of seasons ago...

read the posts below the hurricane outlook and you can see how a storm (Hurricane Norbert) that was even better looking than Celia (not as intense, but with a much better track and a lot closer)…totally busted.

From a forecast guys know that I like to keep things conservative. So until I see some real satellite data, not just visible images, but actual measureable wind speeds I am going to keep wave heights on the lower side.

Still...because she is more intense, and I am seeing some good winds leading into the storm from the ITCZ, I will add some size to the forecast.

At this point it looks like the average S-SE facing spots will be more in the shoulder-head high range with some overhead sets when the swell peaks on Monday. Top SE spots will likely have sets going a couple of feet overhead and maybe a little larger on some of the bigger sets...I don't think I would add much more than that right now.

That being said…if I was made of money, and had a lot of spare time, I would probably try and get in position to see if I could get a lucky break and have this swell come in bigger. But at the same time I wouldn’t totally count on Celia producing. It is nice that we have an ok southern hemi SSW-SW swell to backstop the tropical stuff.

I will let you guys know if I get some solid data...there should be some better information tomorrow.

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 6/24/2010

Forecast Overview
- New SW swell mixes with tropical energy from TS Blas on Friday…the surf stays small/playful for most areas but select spots will start to see some bigger surf.
- Saturday the new SW swell will continue to build while new tropical energy from Hurricane Celia starts to arrive at the extremely exposed SE spots.
- Sunday the meat of the new SW swell starts to arrive and Celia’s swell fills in, turning more southerly in the process. Wave heights will increase at most S facing spots with some larger waves at the top S-SE breaks.
- Monday and Tuesday the mix of SSW-SW swell and tropical energy from Hurricane Celia will peak…look for playful/decent sized surf for most of the exposed spots and overhead sets at the standout breaks.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (On the rise)
Another new S-SW swell (190-210) mixes in with the holding SW energy, the slightly dropping tropical S-SE swell (from TS Blas), and increasing local NW windswell. Most exposed breaks will have surf in the waist-chest high range with some chest-shoulder high sets at the spots that do better on the S swells. The standout S facing spots, particularly the SW exposed beaches and good combo spots, will have chest-shoulder high surf with a chance for a couple of plus sets on the morning tide push. Winds/Weather: Still clean on Friday…light and variable winds on tap for the morning with a couple of weak areas of onshore flow. Onshore texture picks up by midday and we can expect another round of W-WNW winds in the 10-15 knot range by the afternoon.

Saturday – (still building)
The pulse of SW swell (190-210) and steady NW windswell will hold on Saturday while the tropical SE (155-175) swell starts to get overlapping energy from Hurricane Celia. Most spots will continue to hold in the waist-chest high range…with some bigger sets showing at the more exposed SE-SW facing spots. The standout S facing breaks, particularly those that can combo up the mix of swells, will have more consistent chest-shoulder high surf through the morning…and then some head high sets that begin to arrive more frequently throughout the day. Winds/Weather: Winds look light in the morning…maybe a couple of pockets of onshore texture but pretty manageable for most areas. Look for W-WSW winds to increase throughout midday and eventually push onshore in the 12-15+ knot range for the afternoon.

Sunday – (more swell from all over the place)
Sunday’s surf will be on the rise from the get-go…we will have new bigger SW energy (190-215) filling in on the back of the previous Southern Hemi pulse. There will also be more tropical swell from Hurricane Celia…this will still be pretty SE’erly (155-165) but it will be on the rise throughout the day and slowly shifting more southerly. NW windswell will continue to hold on in the background…hopefully with enough energy to break up the other swells. At this point it looks like chest-shoulder high surf for most of the average exposed spots…with sets being a little more consistent at the SW/NW combo spots and the good SE facing breaks. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds in the morning…probably cleaner than the previous couple of days…so a chance for some light offshore in a few spots. Winds come onshore around midday and build out of the WNW at 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Monday – (still building)
The SSW-SW swell (190-205) holds on through Monday along with the NW windswell. The S-SE tropical swell (160-175) from Hurricane Celia will continue to build through Monday...eventually peaking later in the afternoon. Look for most spots to average around chest-shoulder high off the mix of swells. Standout S facing spots, and the excellent combo breaks, will see shoulder-head high surf with a few of the really well-exposed SE breaks seeing overhead sets at times throughout the day. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds in the morning with some light offshore flow in a few spots. Winds come onshore around midday and build out of the WNW at 10-15+ knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
The NPAC is still pretty weaksauce right now…high-pressure continues to block out most of the NE Pacific, which kills any kind of long-period swell production.

There is one low-pressure that moves through the Gulf of Alaska…which doesn’t make any waves for us…but it does erode some of the high-pressure closer to our coast. It does this right as Hurricane Celia moves closer to the mid-latitudes, basically allowing Celia to track a bit more NW, which could be good for swell production (sort of a long-shot).

South Pacific
There will be plenty of Southern Hemi swell on tap for the next several days…and I am seeing another decent-sized pulse starting to brew up in the long-range…so basically the South Pacific continues to run like a well-oiled machine.

Right now we are seeing a little pulse of SW energy…from some scattered storm elements all spinning around New Zealand…these type of swells are notoriously inconsistent because of their swell-decay along the long travel distance, shadowing from the South Pacific Islands, and some blockage by the nearshore islands once they start to arrive in Socal. So this weak little shot of energy is everything that we can expect it to be. We can expect this SW’er to hold into Friday with some waist high waves and occasional chest high sets at the standouts.

The bigger SW swell (200-220) will start to arrive on Saturday (June 26) starting off very SW’erly and a bit inconsistent, which reflects the way the storm moved off New Zealand and began to intensify. This swell will build through Saturday evening, eventually peaking on Sunday and Monday (June 27-28). As this swell peaks we can expect the average SW facing spots to see chest-shoulder high surf with some less consistent head high sets. The standout SW facing breaks, mostly through South OC and parts of San Diego, will have shoulder-head high surf with some inconsistent overhead sets. Look for this swell to start to back off on the 29th…but expect rideable waves from this one hanging on through the end of June.

Further out there is another strong storm forecast to move through our swell window. It has been on the charts for the last few days and the forecasts have slowly improved as we have gotten closer to the storm actually pulling together. The latest forecasts are showing a pretty solid stretch of fetch (see how I did that…str-etch and f-etch…I am master of the English language) forming right in our S swell window…and not just your typical high-latitude storm, it will be an extra-tropical fueled nugget that manages to set up nearly 1200-1500 miles of 30+ knot wind with gusts hitting around 45-50 knots.

All of this wind is forecast to build up 30-35’ seas and push out a good S swell for Southern California (and a larger on for Central America/Mainland Mexico). This new S swell (180-200) would arrive as early as Saturday (July 3) and peak on the 4th of July…with energy sticking around for a few days afterwards. At this point it looks like this swell will be good for chest-shoulder high+ surf for the average S facing spots in California and some overhead sets at the standout breaks.

Things back down in the South Pacific after that storm…but I am still seeing some increasing storm activity under Australia and New Zealand that will likely push out into the South Pacific proper in the next week or so.


We have two hurricanes in the East Pacific Tropics, one of which is in the Southern California swell window, and the other is just starting to reach the Baja Sur “SE swell” window.

For Socal Hurricane Celia is the most important at this point. She is a strong (115-knots), well-positioned storm (S-SSE of Socal…right in the 165-175 degree swell window), who is tracking well (WNW at 9-11 knots)…all of which are good things for generating swell. The initial energy from Celia will be arriving over this upcoming weekend...pushing in from the SE (155-165) starting on Saturday. It will be a bit slow and selective at first…but it will continue building and turning more southerly on Sunday, eventually peaking on Monday with plenty of energy showing into Tuesday. Once the swell turns more S (170-180) we can expect the average spots to see shoulder-high+ surf while the S-SE standouts, mostly through Orange County, see some overhead+ sets. This could come in stronger so we are going to want to keep an eye on the buoys and satellite obs as we move into the weekend.

The other system is Hurricane Darby, who has formed just off the coast of Southern Mainland Mexico…and is forecast to putt around in a little circle without making much movement toward the Socal swell window…in fact if it sticks with the current forecast Darby might not even reach the Cabo/Baja Sur swell window all that cleanly. As it is…the immediate nearby region of Southern Mainland Mex, can expect some consistent tropical S swell to mix with the Southern Hemi SW swell that will be hitting over the weekend.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, June 28th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Surf for Thursday – Nothing to get fired up about

Thursday will have a few rideable waves but a combination of spotty winds, building tides, and fluky/inconsistent swell will keep the fun factor pretty low.

Swellwise we are going to see a mix of NW windswell, some inconsistent/fading SW swell (190-220), and some tropical SE swell (155-170) from TS Blas. Like I said yesterday this mix of swells don’t blend together all that well…so we don’t get the boost in size like we would from swells that have a little more compatible swell directions.

Most breaks will continue to hold around the knee high range on Thursday with some inconsistent waist high sets showing on the lower tides. The better exposed average SW or SE facing spots will have some slightly bigger sets sneaking through at times. The standout spots, basically the excellent combo spots and maybe a few of the really good SE/SW facing spots, will have more consistent waist high surf with a few chest high sets showing on the really, really, really, really good sandbars. If you can’t take the hint…it will need to be a really good SE/SW exposed spot to get the bigger waves.

The winds will be a bit squirrelly as well…there is a weak trough of low-pressure holding in the upper levels that is enhancing the onshore flow. The eddyish circulation is supposed to continue on Thursday…blowing southerly winds through San Diego/OC with some swirly flow through LA and some W-NW winds through Santa Barbara and Ventura. Winds should be on the lighter side, around 5-6 knots for the morning. Expect moderate onshore winds in the 10-15 knot range out of the W-WNW by the afternoon.

Not much to get excited about…though there is always a chance that the tropical swell will get a boost tomorrow (reflecting how TS Blas moved into a more open portion of the tropical swell window). With the wind being funky and the other swells being on the marginal side…I wouldn’t commit much energy to the surf. I would stick to checking the cameras and wind observations in the morning and if you don’t see anything that floats your boat then going back to bed and surfing your pillow for a little while longer.

Here are the tides…

06/24/2010 Thursday
03:11AM LDT -0.9 L
09:36AM LDT 3.6 H
02:06PM LDT 2.2 L
08:18PM LDT 6.1 H (swampthing!)