Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Southern California Long-range Surf Forecast – 7/19/2010

Forecast Overview
- New SSW-SW swell fills in and peaks on Tuesday…slight eddy hampers shape.
- S-SW swell holds on Wednesday while winds start to clean up.
- The S-SW swell continues to slowly fade while conditions improve…winds look clean in the morning.
- Friday starts with leftovers but a new S-swell (180-190) begins to arrive through the afternoon.
- S swell peaks through Saturday…winds and weather will continue to improve as a new ridge moves into the region.
- S swell fades slowly on Sunday and continues a slow drop through the beginning of next week.

Short Range (next 4 days)

Tuesday – (New S-SW swell starts to peak as the eddy lingers)
The new S-SW swell (190-215) fills in throughout the day, mixing with some leftover S-SW Southern Hemi energy, and some small local WNW-NW windswell. Most S facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some inconsistent shoulder-head high+ waves hitting by the afternoon. Look for some overhead sets sneaking in as the swell peaks later in the day. The S-SW facing standout breaks, mostly in southern OC and at a few of the other good SSW-SW breaks, will be running more consistently in the shoulder-overhead range with some inconsistent sets going a couple of feet overhead by sundown. Winds/Weather: Slight eddy flow will continue to stick around on Tuesday. Winds will be light/variable to light/onshore from Santa Barbara through LA. Light/southerly winds, mostly below 5-knots, will pick up through Orange County and San Diego during the morning. Look for W-WNW winds around 10-15 knots to develop through the afternoon.

Wednesday – (S-SW swell peaks and the winds lighten up a touch)
Wednesday looks like a surf day if you are close to a S-SW facing spot (or don’t mind driving to one). The S-SW swell (190-210) will be peaking through the morning and will continue to hold some solid surf throughout the day. Average S facing spots will be in the chest-shoulder high range with some head high+ sets hitting during the lower tides. The standout S-SW facing spots, mostly through Orange County and parts of San Diego, will have more shoulder-head high+ sets with sets still going a couple of feet overhead through the low-tide in the morning. While the bigger sets start to trail off through the afternoon expect some decent sized surf to hold at the exposed spots throughout the afternoon. Winds/Weather: Winds look light on Wednesday with mostly light and variable to light/onshore flow setting up for the morning. Even the most exposed/wind-sensitive spots will have morning winds below the 5-knot range for the morning. Look for W-WNW winds around 10-15+ knots through the afternoon.

Thursday - (Slow fade on the S-SW swell but weather continues to improve)
The S-SW swell (185-210) will start to slowly fade on Thursday but thanks to the storm hanging around our swell window (like one of those awesome house guests) there will be plenty of energy still hanging onto the backside of this swell. Most S-SW spots will continue to see chest-shoulder high surf…with a couple of larger waves still ninja-ing occasionally through the lower tides in the morning. The standout S facing spots will continue to see fairly consistent chest-shoulder high surf with head high sets and even a few waves still breaking the overhead mark on the lower tides. Winds/Weather: The winds are looking fairly light for Thursday morning…lots of light/variable winds for most areas and a few pockets of light onshore flow at the normally wind-sensitive breaks. Look for building W-WNW winds around 10-15 knots to slip back in after lunch and eventually peak around mid-afternoon and on into the evening.

Friday (A slice of S swell for dessert)
Our surf will, at minimum, hold on Friday…and it might even come up a bit as a new, more southerly S swell (180-190) fills in on the tail end of the SSW-SW swell that will be fading out from earlier in the week. There will be a touch of WNW-NW windswell in the water…but it is so small that the Southern Hemi mix will steamroll most of it. Sizewise we can expect chest-shoulder high+ surf for most of the S-SW facing spots…with a few bigger sets at breaks that like the S swell a little better. The standout S facing spots, mostly in North OC (and a few of those other select breaks in the other regions), will have shoulder-head high+ surf with a few sets going overhead+ at the spots that can really focus the S-SSW swell mix. Winds/Weather: Right now the wind models are sort of being little whiny brats and are calling for some variable onshore flow to show through the morning. The funny thing is that the last time they had the same sort of set up the skies went totally clear, the wind dropped off, and we have clean conditions. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that these models are “wrong” like they were last time.


North Pacific
The NPAC is really freaking boring at this point…the high pressure is sitting in about the same place it has for the last few days blah blah blah blah…with some blah and extra-blah blah! It is awesome because blah will go BLAH! And we will get some more blah!

To translate…we will basically get some windswell…sometimes it will be weak, and sometimes it will be less weak. Most of the time it will sort of suck.

South Pacific
The two main swells that we have rolling through the South Pacific are either; Already filling in, or are already on the way and will be filling in later in the week.

As you read in the short-range…the bigger SSW-SW swell is actually filling in on Socal’s beaches this evening and will continue to build overnight, eventually peaking Tuesday evening on into Wednesday.

This one looks good for chest-head high+ for most of the well-exposed SSW-SW facing spots. The standout SW facing spots will have some shoulder-overhead+ sets and a few waves hitting the couple of feet overhead range. These waves will hold strong into Wednesday and then start to trail off slowly (really slowly) on Thursday.

Further out there is another pulse of S-swell (180-200) that arrives right on the heels of the bigger SSW-SW swell. This storm was actually an embedded front that tracked behind the stronger storm…it wasn’t a total slouch in the wind department either, managing to pull together some 40-45 knot winds in the key areas of fetch…even a few pockets of near 50-knots.

Normally a storm like this would produce an “average” maybe even “below average” swell…but since this one got to capitalize on the sea-state generated of the first storm it didn’t have to work as hard to produce a good/playful sized S-swell. It also helps that the storm was in a little better position than the first system…letting it send a less shadowed S-SSW swell (180-190 for Socal) and (190-205 for Central AM/Mexico) from a closer position…all of which helps to drive up the surf.

This new S swell (180-200) will arrive on Friday (July 23) hitting mostly in the afternoon…and then peaking Saturday, holding into early Sunday, and then fading out through the early part of next week. I am expecting the S facing spots to continue to see chest-shoulder high+ surf…with a few head high+ sets at the better-exposed average breaks. The standout S facing spots, mostly in OC, will have shoulder-head high surf with some overhead sets mixing in. Due to its positioning (and its tracking the behind the first storm)…I expect some more consistency out of this swell along with more rideable waves as the swell-periods drop (compared to the swell further away that would have all the size in the lower-periods decay away before reaching Socal).

Even Further out another set of storms are forecast to push out of the Tasman Sea over the next 4-5 days…and are showing the potential to send more S-SW swell our way. Obviously we have a few more days before these storms actually form…but it looks like chance at more swell arriving in Socal around the first few days of August. It also happens that when I get creative with photoshop I can draw a bad-ass picture of a duck.

Not much happening in the Tropics right now…no new storms are expected to develop for the next couple of days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Friday, July 23rd, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


Anonymous said...

Today I realized I am an old man. The waves were awesome, but my fat, old butt could not hold position at my local beachbreak. The current was like a river, and I got nothing. The young guys were catching wave after wave, getting barreled, and paddling back to position with ease. Me? Well, by the time I got to the drop, some young kid was already flying down the line, which meant I spent what little energy I had and got nothing, and now was away from the drop zone in the current headed north. Basically, I was screwed. Not a good day. Not a good day at all for me. Old guys don't rule; we suck.

Anonymous said...

Tom Carroll is 49, and Tom Curren is 46. Still the best.

Anonymous said...

Bombing this evening!

Slim Jim said...

Sano and Bolsa have lots of guys like you Anon. You just need to purchase a waterproof Life-Alert.

Anonymous said...

and still bombing! sooo sick

SC Fool said...

I think that the problem is that anonymous1 does not bother to go surfing when the waves are small. Then when the waves get big, like once every two months, he decides to go, but he gets destroyed because he is not in surfing shape. You got to surf the small days so that you can take full advantage of these rare days when the surf is up. If you start surfing once or twice a week you will be back to schooling us younguns.

Anonymous said...

Is it weird i surfed a south facing beach break in newport that was overhead but kinda too peaky and had no cross current?

Anonymous said...

newport south swell party time! winds ruined barrel opportunitys but still a good time

Anonymous said...

wedge still had some bombs, only spot in n oc that was clean this morning