Thursday, June 3, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 6/03/2010

Forecast Overview

Not many changes from the last long-range forecast…but there are a few new storms starting to form out the back. For the next few days we can expect some sporadic eddy winds that will hamper conditions as we move into the weekend…fortunately it looks like there will also be some periods of clean (or at least manageable) conditions mixing in as well. S-SW swell will continue to pulse through Socal while a mix of WNW-NW short/semi-short period swell crosses things up in the background, which means that we will be able to find some playful rideable waves when the wind manages to behave. A mix of new NPAC swell and some more Southern Hemi will arrive later in the upcoming weekend and then build as we head into next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (Playful with a touch of texture)
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 with a few potential bigger waves showing at the excellent combo/SW facing breaks. 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 – (Warming beach temps and leftover swell)
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. Winds/Weather: Surface winds are showing eddy for Saturday morning but it looks light high-pressure aloft will keep them from being too bad. Overall we can expect variable to light SE winds for the morning and then W-WSW winds around 10-15 knots for the afternoon.

Sunday – (Looks like a surf day as new S-SW swell moves in)
The surf will start to creep up again on Sunday as the new S-SW swell (180-200) fills in and overlaps the leftover SSW-SW swell and the background (but still healthy) WNW-NW energy. Most exposed spots will be in the waist-chest high range with a few chest high+ sets by the afternoon as the new swell gets going. The standout S-SW facing spots will be chest-shoulder high with some less consistent head high sets. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds on tap for the morning…mostly clean conditions with a few areas of light texture if your beach is really sensitive to southerly flow. Look for building W-WSW building into the 12-15+ knot range by the afternoon.

Monday – (S-SW swell peaks and conditions stay nice)
The S-SSW swell (180-200) will start to peak on Monday (holding overnight into Tuesday)…it will mix with some background SW energy and steady local NW windswell. Most exposed spots will be more in the waist-shoulder high range while the standout S-SW facing breaks see some chest-head high surf and a few overhead waves sneaking into the best exposed combo breaks and the excellent S facing spots. Sets may be a little inconsistent but they will be fun when they show. Winds/Weather: Winds are forecast to remain on the light/variable side for the morning with a few areas of light onshore texture at the more exposed beaches. Look for those winds to switch around to the WNW and blow around the 10-15 knot range by the afternoon.


North Pacific
The storm that was looking sort of good on the GOES satellite earlier this week continued to hang around in the Gulf of Alaska for the last few days. Unfortunately, despite its look on the visible satellites, the storm never produced much wind. Check it out…here is the “visible” look…it is decent looking system, all sorts of convection occurring around the center of the low and a big trailing tail that seems like it should be loading up some fetch for the winter spots.

This is how the ASCAT satellite looked at the same system…

As you can see the winds are not impressive…25-30 knots may set up some smaller windswell, or something a little bigger if it sat in place for 6-7 days…but this one moves fast enough that the low wind speeds will really hurt swell production. I am still expecting some short-period WNW-NW energy moving into Socal for late this weekend and the early part of next week…but the size is going to be pretty small, right around the waist high+ range at the top spots. There will be an increase in local windswell that will ride in on top of this swell that will help to drive up the surf at the WNW-NW facing spots and good combo breaks, but don’t count on any sort of sizeable surf from this side of the ocean.

South Pacific
We will have a playful mix of overlapping S-SW swells that will hold into Friday and continue through the weekend.

Next week looks a bit bigger thanks to a strong storm is just off the coast of Chile that roared through Socal’s S-swell swell window earlier in the week. Unfortunately the storm was moving pretty fast and the extra-tropical 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.

Even Further out the long-range charts continue to be really active…and it looks like the surf is going to pick up again around the middle/end of June. Look at this new system that forms in about 4-5 days…

If this one pulls together we would be looking at some chest-head high+ surf for the standouts around June 18th but with the peak of the swell lining up more for the 19-20th.

One thing to note…as the winter mid-latitude pressure starts to build in the Southern Hemi we will see more “zonal” flow, but with some pockets of fetchy goodness as well. This zonal pattern generally forces more of our surf to come out of the SW, and through the South Pacific Island Shadow South Pacific Island Shadow which chews up the energy heading to Socal…making the swells both smaller and less consistent than they would be if they had a clearer, more southerly shot at the swell window.

No new tropical systems expected for the next couple of days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, June 7th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


greg said...

hey adam - do you know when that last swell will be hitting central america? it looks like around june 16-18 but i'm not sure. im heading down to costa rica around that time and would love to know if there will be swell...

Adam Wright said...

Greg - you will be getting swell from that one...and from a couple of other storms as well (these other storms spin up off Antarica over the next few days, sort of over by Chile...and are too far East, which is a bit too against the grain to send swell back toward Socal, but still in a good position to send surf to Central America.

About the only thing that might be a little tricky is the shadowing from the Galapagos Islands.It can chew up the swells that have more SW direction to them. Still even with will still have plenty of waves.

greg said...

thanks adam! this is just another reason why i come here everyday instead of those other surf sites - try getting personal reports from them!

can't wait to get in some warm water...