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Articles by Adam Wright

Adam has been a professional meteorologist and surf forecaster since 1999 and has worked for many of the popular surf sites including Transworld SURF, Surfline, Wavewatch, and FuelTV. Currently he is the Chief Forecaster for Solspot.com and is responsible for letting us know when we should ditch the computers for either a quick session or epic trip.

Small WNW-NW pulses and shots of local windswell mix with unstable weather

Small WNW-NW pulses and shots of local windswell mix with unstable weather

The next several days aren’t looking all that great surfwise. We will see a mix of small WNW-NW swells that filter in from some poorly positioned storms that moved through the NPAC over the last week or so. We will also have a steady stream of short-period local windswell, much of which will get driven in by stronger winds moving through both or inner and outer waters. Needless to say the blend of smaller WNW energy and local windswell won’t be all that great at producing surf…and when you add in unstable winds and weather our chances of getting decent waves basically goes into the toilet. Long-range charts are showing a couple more storm fronts possibly moving over the West Coast as we move through next week and the SPAC is starting to show at least a little improvement…but overall there aren’t any significant looking swells currently in the forecast.

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Light winds in the early morning and then stormier weather starts to arrive

Light winds in the early morning and then stormier weather starts to arrive

Thursday will still have a few rideable waves as we move through the morning, but an approaching cold front will start to add in some junky onshore winds and rainy weather as we near midday. Looks like mostly sloppy shape and conditions will be on tap starting a bit before lunch and then continuing on through the evening.

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Mellow S-SW pulses scatter a few playful waves throughout the region

Mellow S-SW pulses scatter a few playful waves throughout the region

Mainland Mexico and Central America are both still very much in winter-mode. The SPAC, while sort of active, isn’t putting a lot of effort into swell production and so there is only a bit of modest fetch that has been pushing up toward the region. The current long-range charts are showing a slightly more positive look…with some new storms moving along Antarctica that are showing at least the potential for some more consistent and slightly larger surf lining up for later in the month. Keep in mind that these storms aren’t very strong, they just look better than the ones we currently have.

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Wednesday sees some more windswell but conditions clean up a bit

Wednesday sees some more windswell but conditions clean up a bit

Wednesday will see sort of a mixed bag of conditions, surf quality, and overall rideability. There will be some swell still showing at the more exposed WNW-NW facing beaches, as well as some fairly clean morning conditions, so we can expect at least a small surf window setting up in the morning. Increasing tides and building onshore winds will start to shut things down as we head into the afternoon.

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Funky windswell and small WNW-NW pulses on tap for the week

Funky windswell and small WNW-NW pulses on tap for the week

We can expect a mix of semi-rideable/rideable surf sticking around for the next several days but weather and local winds will likely cause some issues. Forecast-wise it looks like we are slipping into a bit more traditional late winter/early spring pattern…there are still some storms pushing around the North Pacific, but they are having trouble getting organized while moving through the better parts of our swell window…instead they are spinning up in the higher latitudes of the Gulf of Alaska and then pushing down the West Coast. This is a good thing in terms of getting some rain/snow into our parched region, but it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to actual swell generation. Plan on seeing a mix of local WNW-NW windswells that will fluctuate on and off for the next week while some longer-period energy hangs in the background…helping to flesh out the punchiness of these swells, but not really adding much more size. The weather will be all over the place as well…sunny and cool one day and then drizzly-rainy the next. Fortunately the winds never really knock the conditions completely off track, but expect shorter surf windows until the weather gets a bit more stable.

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Windswell continues to push in on Tuesday but expect some earlier onshore bump

Windswell continues to push in on Tuesday but expect some earlier onshore bump

Mix of windswell will keep some rideable waves showing at the more exposed NW facing beaches on Tuesday. Wind and weather conditions will be a bit unstable so look for some texture and bump showing up early and even some onshore breeze that will hurt conditions relatively quickly at some of the more sensitive breaks.

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Local windswell drops off leaving us with mostly small leftovers

Local windswell drops off leaving us with mostly small leftovers

Sunday will have a little bit of WNW-NW windswell sticking around in the morning but overall wave heights will be on the way down and between the high tide and less stable winds we shouldn’t expect anything special.

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Cleaner conditions set up for Saturday but expect smaller surf as the swell drains away

Cleaner conditions set up for Saturday but expect smaller surf as the swell drains away

Look for cleaner conditions but fading surf as we move into Saturday. We will see a lump of local windswell, mostly from Friday’s winds, peak Saturday morning and then trail off as we move through the day.

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Waves continue to drop off while winds stay a bit screwy on Friday

Waves continue to drop off while winds stay a bit screwy on Friday

Our surf conditions pretty much take a dive on Friday. The last of our good WNW-NW swell will be on the way out only to be replaced by short-period choppy WNW windswell. Onshore winds will get an early start for many spots and once they really turn more westerly we can expect bumpy to near blown out conditions for much of the day.

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WNW-NW energy fades away leaving us with smaller less organized swells

WNW-NW energy fades away leaving us with smaller less organized swells

The long run of good WNW-NW energy is finally starting to drop off…it sucks that the good times are ending but it has been a nice string of winter energy, probably one of the better ones we have seen in the last couple of winter seasons. As we move through the weekend there will still be a little bit of our current energy still lurking around, however we can expect more of our surf to be supplied by increasing NW winds in our local waters. These won’t be the greatest swells, but at least there is a chance they can put some moisture into the region and maybe stall out the drought (not holding my breath for that). Long-range is showing the NPAC slowing down as high-pressure starts to clog up the Gulf of Alaska…fortunately it doesn’t look like a super strong ridge so we may see things pick back up relatively soon. The SPAC, while not doing much at the moment, is showing a little more activity burbling up on the long-range charts, maybe we will see a little more combo action as we move deeper into February.

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