Thursday, June 17, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 6/17/2010

Forecast Overview
SW swell trails off through the end of the week while WNW-NW windswell pulses up a couple of notches thanks to increasing winds in the outer waters. The eddy looks like it will be junking things up for the next few days. The new South Pacific storm is still intensifying and it looks like it will help to break us out of the run of smaller waves later next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Friday – (eddy’s revenge)
Friday looks surfable…but the swell mix is fairly small…just a blend of smaller S-SW pulses (190-215) and some local WNW-NW windswell (288-300). Look for the average spots to hold around knee-waist high sets with the sets being a little inconsistent at times. The standout SW facing breaks and excellent combo spots will be waist- chest high along with a few inconsistent chest-shoulder high sets. Winds/Weather: The eddy comes back on Friday and we can expect the southerly winds to return to Orange County and San Diego…cleaner conditions for South Los Angeles, and then NW winds for North LA and on up through Santa Barbara. W winds around 10-15 knots push in through the afternoon.

Saturday – (eddy strikes back)
Saturday will have a mix of increasing WNW-NW windswell (290-300) and fading SW leftovers (190-215) that are being backstopped by weak pulses from the Southern Hemisphere. Average spots will see knee-waist high waves. Standout windswell spots and the excellent combo breaks, will have some chest high+ sets still showing during the lower tides. Winds/Weather: The eddy strengthens more on Saturday and it looks like winds are going to be pretty craptacular. The eddy is supposed to be centered down below the border, which will cause the winds to push down out of the WNW-NW. Look for WNW-NW winds in the 8 knot range for the morning and then 13-17 knots out of the WNW for the afternoon.

Sunday – (Return of the eddy)
The mix of WNW-NW windswell (290-300) and SW leftovers (190-215) will continue to push in some sloppy surf on Sunday. Average windswell/combo breaks will hold around waist-chest high while the standout NW facing spots and best combo spots see some shoulder high sets. Winds/Weather: Still funky looking on Sunday…the winds that start up on Saturday don’t take much of a break overnight and we can expect the onshore flow to pick up really fast during the morning. Look for WNW-NW winds around 8-knots for the morning and then 12-15+ knots for the afternoon.

Monday – (crap…more freaking eddy)
We will see some smaller surf on Monday as the windswell turns more NW’erly (292-300+) and the weak SW swells continue to push in through the background. Average spots will be in the knee high range with some inconsistent waist high sets. Standout breaks see some waist-chest high waves…with maybe a rare bigger set at breaks down in Southern SD County. Winds/Weather: These stupid NW winds…don’t they know that it is almost July? Screw off already. The winds do back down a bit on Monday and we see the eddy reposition itself closer to Catalina, which means that San Diego/OC will have more southerly texture showing through their areas and Ventura/Santa Barbara will see NW winds…and North LA gets sort of swirly flow as the two portions of the wind mix together. WNW-NW winds continue to spin up in the afternoon look for 12-15 knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
No real changes in the North Pacific. For the next few days the storm track stays pretty quiet, well expect for the wind tunnel blowing through the outer coastal waters off California. These winds will push out some windswell and spin up the eddy as we move through the weekend. The windswell sizes aren’t that exciting…and to be honest I would rather sacrifice their extra energy for cleaner conditions.

Way out in the long-range there is a storm forecast to spin up into the Gulf of Alaska in about 5 days. By itself it doesn’t look like much of a wave maker but it will probably give the local windswell a boost as it sheds off energy into the winds along our outer waters. Probably strengthen the eddy too…or just push in onshore winds…man I need a beer, the groundhog-eddy is starting to get to me.

South Pacific
SW swell (190-215) will be slowly fading out through the second half of the week…dropping to mostly leftovers as we head into the weekend. Unfortunately there won’t be a ton of energy on tap for a while after this one fades…we are moving into the time-gap where the South Pacific took a little break in storm activity...and that means that we aren’t going to see any significant S-SW swells for about a week… So, by the weekend, we will just have a few inconsistent/background pulses of SW swell trickling in from weak systems that had been swirling around New Zealand…none of which will amount to more than knee-waist high at the average breaks.

Fortunately a series of new storms have been forming over the last couple of days…these will get us back into some decent S-SW by the end of June. Check it out…

This low is already developing…and it still has a couple of days of intensification and movement before it starts to track off to the east. The extra-tropical energy that I was watching in the forecast run managed to generate some stronger winds than the swell models initially anticipated.

The extra-tropical energy helped to strengthen the storm…boosting wind speeds into the 40-50 knot range. A lot of this energy was aimed towards Tahiti (and a good bunch to Hawaii too) but there was still some decent fetch for SoCal and Baja, as well as Mainland Mexico and Central America.

Seas have been building steadily under these strong winds and we are already seeing some 30-32’ seas near the core of the storm…chances are with these stronger winds that seas will still come up a bit over the next couple of days.

I am going to stick with my initial forecast in terms of timing and swell heights…I like that the winds are stronger and the track is still good…but I had already been accounting for the bump in energy when I was looking at these on Monday.

So while this storm isn’t the strongest thing ever…it still looks ok for creating surf. I like a couple of aspects in this system...the first being the storm’s track. It moves right along the SSW great circle line with a high-pressure wedging in behind the fetch, this helps to speed up winds and forces the storm to move our direction which gives these winds more time over an active sea-state (basically this means that the storm rides on top of the swell it has already made adding more energy). The second big thing that I like is that this isn’t the first part of the storm…there is another front that rushes through before this part of the storm forms…this first one develops the seas and gets all of the sloppy wind torn mess moving the right direction…allowing the second front to capitalize on its momentum. Finally I like the positioning of this storm…it is just far enough east that I think the core of the system is going to be in an unshadowed part of the swell window…granted a lot depends on the next few days…but this would help more size and consistency move our way, rather than getting absorbed by the South Pacific Islands.

The swell from this system will be arriving in a series of overlapping pulses that will start to show as early as the 25-26th…but will peak on the 27-29th of June. The first part of the swell will be in the chest high range with some shoulder high sets at the standout breaks…while the second pulse will be more chest-shoulder high for the average spots and head high, possibly head high+ at the standouts.

The tropics are popping all of a sudden…we had two tropical depressions spin up on Wednesday and now one of them has reached Tropical Storm strength (35+ knots of wind).

TD-2e has already dissipated…weakening as it brushed up against Mainland Mexico. TD-3e is now Tropical Storm Blas…and will be sticking around for a few days. TS Blas will be tracking off to the west…without making much of a movement toward us.

Right now Blas is not looking like much of a wave maker…Mainland Mexico and Baja Sur may see an increase in surf but due to the storms lower wind speeds it doesn’t look like it will conjure up anything big before it tracks on out of the region. For Socal…Blas is still a ways outside our swell window and he is likely going to get sheared up pretty bad before he reaches it. At this point I think he is going to be a non-event for us…but we should still keep an eye on him.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, June 17th, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

all that bad stuff doesnt matter if im surfin in my trunks, dang this summers been awesome

Anonymous said...

Yeah... and this fall has been incredible too! Summer doesn't start until June 21, Junior!

Kewl you're already having a good time tough...

Anonymous said...

What is a "combo break"? Combo of what?


Anonymous said...

What is anonymous 10:53 saying about fall? Its spring(basically summer)

SC Fool said...

It is when a bone breaks in two or more places. You should try to avoid combo breaks.