Friday, July 2, 2010

Waves for the 4th of July Holiday Weekend – here comes the craziness

Both Saturday and Sunday will have rideable surf…just expect a lot more of it on Sunday.

From a condition standpoint…neither day is looking outstanding. The eddy is forecast to hang around some more, so there will be some texture/crumble to the exposed spots. Fortunately it won’t spin up a super strong southerly flow, just enough to keep things a little sloppy.

Here is a quick little video showing the CDIP animation for the weekend…it has a soundtrack so watch out if you are at work. (If you are reading this in an email you can click through this to view the video).

Saturday is going to be a bit of a waiting day, at least through the morning. During the dawn patrol we can expect the mix of weaker S-SW swells and steady WNW-NW windswell to hold over from Friday. The new S swell (175-190) will start to fill in through the day, showing long-period energy on the buoys (but not a ton on the beach) through midmorning, and then finally driving in some larger surf by later in the day.

Most spots will start off in the waist high range on Saturday…with some inconsistent chest-shoulder high sets sneaking through at the standout S-SW facing breaks and excellent combo spots. By the afternoon we can expect chest-shoulder high+ sets starting to show at the average S-SSW facing spots and some head high and even overhead surf occasionally hitting the standouts S swell spots (Mostly through Orange County). Since the winds will be coming onshore pretty steady by the afternoon it probably won’t be worth waiting for the bigger swell…if you can find a clean spot with playful waves in the morning, get on it!

Winds, like I said in the intro, won’t be all that great. The CDIP and the NOAA weather models are calling for some increasing eddy circulation in the morning. Overall winds are supposed to stay under 10-knots but that means there is still room for the 4-6 knot south winds that will likely be showing through Orange County and San Diego. Ventura, LA, and Santa Barbara will all have more variable to SE flow in the morning so there might be a few pockets of cleaner surf through those regions. By the afternoon all of Socal will have W-WNW winds around 10-15+ knots.

Sunday the new S swell (175-190) will peak…it will be coming on strong for the morning…and will peak a few hours after sunrise. Expect the swell to peak through the end of the day and hold solid surf into Monday.

Sizewise on Sunday…most of the average S facing spots will see shoulder-head high surf with overhead, and possibly even overhead+ sets mixing in. The standout S facing spots will be consistently head high to overhead with sets going 2-3 overhead as the swell really gets going. The best focal breaks, basically spots that really channel and multiply this swell, will be more consistently overhead with sets going 2-3’ overhead and probably bigger…I wouldn’t be surprised to see some waves almost breaking that double-overhead mark. Keep in mind those bigger sizes are only for a few select spots. One last thing to note…all southern hemi swells (even the big ones) will have gaps between the sets…I would wait it out on the beach for a while so that you can get an accurate feel for the surf.

Winds on Sunday will still have the eddy circulation but the overall S winds look a little lighter and even a little more SE’erly though the early morning. In general we can still expect S-SSE flow for OC and San Diego, with the more SE flow for LA, Ventura, and Southern Santa Barbara. The W winds will return in the afternoon and we can expect them to top out in the 12-15 knot range by late in the day.

So we have a solid swell hitting this weekend…but it is going to be hard to capitalize on it because of the holiday. Parking, blackball, crowds, parades, police, lifeguards, dogs and cats living together (mass hysteria!) will all conspire against us as this swell fills in. Personally I am probably going to shine surfing on Sunday...I might bike down and bodysurf at some point…but I am more likely to bbq, have a few adult beverages, and help my kids play with some various forms of fire. This swell is going to hold pretty solid into Monday, where the winds will be better, there may be a little more windswell to cross things up, and there will be a crapload fewer people on the beach…just something to keep in mind.

Here are the tides…have a great 4th of July! (and please be safe in and out of the water)

Cheers ~ Adam

07/03/2010 Saturday
01:25AM LDT 3.5 H
08:12AM LDT 1.2 L
03:11PM LDT 4.2 H
09:59PM LDT 2.2 L

07/04/2010 Sunday
02:44AM LDT 2.9 H
08:48AM LDT 1.6 L
03:56PM LDT 4.4 H
11:30PM LDT 1.7 L


Anonymous said...

Helping kids play with various forms of fire is what our Independence Day is all about!

Cheers Adam!

Anonymous said...

This will be epic, last year newport was flat and the water was 53 degrees and there was still mass chaos, cant wait to see what will happen this 4th

Anonymous said...

Hey Adam, I was talking to the one of the guys in charge of the HB jr guard program this afternoon about the expected weekend swell, conditions, etc.

He said they had the general Surfline forecast posted in the ready room, but was curious about where I was getting all of my detailed information.

Example: longer periods declining to shorter periods as the 3-day holiday progresses. Turns out the guards dread lagging swells when the waves are slightly smaller (hence luring in more tourists - he says they tend to stay out of the water when it's really big & ripping).

What really sets up killer - literally - conditions is when the shorter period stuff starts stacking up as it pushes more water in & then creates giant rips on the way out.

Anyway, I of course tipped him off to your site. If you've got an inclination, I would send an email along to them just so that others in the office have links to your blog.

Anonymous said...

Sweet animation, where do you get the CDIP Forecast Charts from?

Anonymous said...

saturday morning totally blown out in south san diego. :(

Anonymous said...

totally blown out everywhere

Anonymous said...

blown out like Argentina

Anonymous said...

yeah, total junk.
and the summer sun! where are you!?! I miss you so much. Please come back. Bad Marine Layer - bad, bad, bad!!!

Anonymous said...

el nino ate up the summer sun, like ok go home now el nino stop it, really do we really need all these lows pushing through in summer time? bring on la nina

Anonymous said...

El n'ino really is kind of a hassel now that I think about it

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or did i miss something? sunday morning hb-newport was waist high
if the swell is peaking in southern mex today and is coming in from 190 doesnt it need time to get here? If it were more sw it would arrive here relatively the same time as there but dont swells with more south in them need more time?

Anonymous said...

epic fail, hopefully we get a re-do tomorrow