Monday, June 28, 2010

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


Anonymous said...

Looks like it's going to be an even a busier day on the 4th for public service in Newps!

YeahMark said...

Awesome forecast Adam!!