Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 6/01/2010

Forecast Overview

On and off eddy winds will hamper conditions over the next few days…but there will be some building/holding S-SW swell that we will be able to take advantage of when the wind manages to behave. A mix of new NPAC swell and some more Southern Hemi lining up for later in the upcoming weekend and on into next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Wednesday – (Eddy winds and holding S-SW swell)
We will have a mix of holding S-SW swell (190-210), increasing NW windswell, and touch of medium period WNW-NW swell (285-300). Overall shape doesn’t look that great…but spots with some protection from the S winds (yet still open to the S-SW swell mix) will be manageable for the dawn patrol…if the tide doesn’t drain out all the surf. Most spots will be in waist high range with some chest high sets showing at the better SW facing breaks. The standout S-SW facing spots and excellent combo breaks will be in the chest-shoulder high range with a couple of bigger sets showing on the tide push. Winds/Weather: The eddy circulation holds on Wednesday…sort of variable S-SE for SD and Orange County in the morning…and more N-NNW’erly for the passes and canyons in Ventura and Los Angeles…with increasing NW winds as you get closer to Point Conception. W-SW winds build into the 10-15 knot range by the afternoon.

Thursday – (steady S-SW swell…cleaner morning conditions)
The S-SW swell will hold on Thursday…thanks to a second pulse of S-SW energy that moves in throughout the day and helps to prop up wave heights. NW windswell will continue to cross things up at the well exposed spots. Look for more waist-chest high surf at the average S-SW facing spots. Standout SW facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high sets showing on the tide push. Keep an eye on the tides, they aren’t huge swings…but the midmorning low tide could drain things out. Winds/Weather: Cleaner morning conditions showing for most of Socal on Thursday. Look for light/variable to light offshore winds from Santa Barbara on down through Orange County. South OC and San Diego will have a bit more S-SE flow for the morning…but mostly below 5 knots so it should stay manageable.10-15 knot W-WSW winds will return in the afternoon.

Friday – (rinse and repeat)
Not many changes on Friday…S-SW swell will hold as the second pulse fills in a touch more and the first pulse fades out. The NW windswell will continue to hold in the background and keep a few surfable waves showing at the best windswell breaks. Average exposed areas will be in the waist high range with less consistent chest high sets. Standout breaks see some chest-shoulder high surf. Winds/Weather: Mostly light winds in the morning…still a touch of eddy circulation but below the 5-knot range. S winds show down in San Diego while the other areas see mostly light/variable winds or even light offshore (like in LA county). Look for W winds around 10-15 knots for the afternoon.

Saturday – (Sir Edward returns)
The surf fades slightly on Saturday…the morning starts off with mostly leftover S-SW swell (190-210) and some slightly more energetic NW windswell. Average breaks will be in the knee-waist high range while the standouts start off with a few chest high sets. A new S-SSW swell (180-200) moves in with some long-period forerunners late in the afternoon, but it will likely just be a new blip on the buoys without much energy showing on the beach. Look for this swell to fill in more Sunday and eventually start to peak as we head into early next week. Winds/Weather: The eddy returns on Saturday…not super intense…but enough to show some defined circulation around Catalina. Winds will be a bit southerly for San Diego and Orange County with more variable to slightly NW flow from Santa Barbara down through Los Angeles.


North Pacific
The satellites are showing a pretty decent storm out in the North Pacific this afternoon…

It may actually seem a little more impressive than it actually is when you look at it through the visible GOES images. The WINDsat and ASCAT satellites are showing 30-25 knots of wind at best…but they be pulling data from a satellite pass that went by before the storm kicked it up a couple of notches…we will have to watch this one tomorrow and see if there is a change.

At this point…this storm is actually supposed to be followed by another front that forms with some extra-tropical energy that jumps into the storm track over by Japan. If this turns out to be the case we will see some new WNW-NW swell (285-300) that arrives with some medium/short-period energy around the 5th…but really peaking more the 6-7th. It doesn’t look like much more than chest-shoulder high right now…but if the winds come in stronger we will have to add some size.

South Pacific
Still a lot of activity down in the South Pacific…a strong storm is just off the coast of Chile having roared through Socal’s S-swell window over the last couple of days. Unfortunately the storm was moving pretty fast and the extra-tropcial energy actually jumped up to the higher latitudes, rather than having the cold part of the storm track push down to the mid-latitudes. This means that strongest part of the storm was at best moving in a zonal track (west to east) or worse, moving away from us. Still the storm was pretty intense and the ass of the system was strung all around Antarctica which means that it did have some fetch aimed our way. Based on that it means that we will have new S-SW swell heading our way for the 7-9th…likely in the shoulder-head high range but possibly a touch bigger on inconsistent sets.

Further out there is even more zonal looking activity in the South Pacific for the next few days…but over the upcoming weekend this storm will start to form.

On the negative side this storm is still moving more west-to-east than I like…and a lot of the frontal edge of the low is traveling pretty fast, almost outrunning the swell that it is producing. On the positive side it does kick the crap out of the mid-latitude high-pressure and open the gap for some following cold fronts to set up some better looking fetch in our swell window. If it lives up to forecasts we would see some new chest-head high S-SW swell (190-220) that would arrive around the 15th.

After TS Agatha trashed a lot of Central America it looks like the tropics have quieted down a touch. The NHC was watching a couple of bigger thunderstorms that had some slight spin forming to their surface winds but they both fell apart this afternoon and aren’t likely to reorganize any time soon…so no new tropical systems expected for the next couple of days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, June 3rd, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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