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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.

Friday’s surf…now with extra wind, rain, and poo-water

Friday’s surf…now with extra wind, rain, and poo-water

Yet another storm moves in overnight and is expected to be in the process of steamrolling Southern California as we move into Friday. We can expect building surf heights along with strong southerly winds and periods of heavy rain. Surf shape will be poor to marginal for most areas however the S wind direction may leave a few rideable pockets scattered about…unfortunately while those spots might be cleaner windwise they won’t be protected from the nasty weather or dirty run-off.

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Thursday’s surf is looking wet and sloppy

Thursday’s surf is looking wet and sloppy

Building swell and stormy conditions move in overnight and continue to hold through Thursday. Wave heights will be on the way up but rainy, windy weather will hurt shape for most of our beaches. Early morning S winds may leave a few rare rideable pockets but don’t expect them to last long.

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Small mix of swells holds through the week but bigger and better S-SW energy moves in this weekend

Small mix of swells holds through the week but bigger and better S-SW energy moves in this weekend

The South Pacific seems to be getting an early start this year…we haven’t even completely finished with February and we already have a couple of playful, early-season, pulses of S-SW swell moving up from the Southern Ocean. The next couple of days will be sort of average…we will see a blend of mostly trace S-SSW swell and some leftover Southern Hemi energy from the last swell that moved through. It won’t be big, but it will at least stay sort of rideable as we move through the week. Some new, back-to-back S-SSW swells will begin to arrive over the upcoming weekend, eventually peaking through most of next week. These swells look to be bigger and more consistent, which should help flesh out more of the ‘average’ spots as well as the standout breaks.

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Slow start on Wednesday but new W-WNW stormswell will begin to show later in the day

Slow start on Wednesday but new W-WNW stormswell will begin to show later in the day

New storm front approaches the coast on Wednesday bringing bigger waves to the exposed spots but also bringing in increasingly bad weather along with the new swell.

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Clean conditions and small but playful waves continue on Tuesday

Clean conditions and small but playful waves continue on Tuesday

Tuesday will continue to see small but playful waves showing at the better exposed combo breaks. Conditions will be mostly clean in the morning with just a touch of texture stirring up underneath areas of patchy fog.

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Increasing swell as we move through the week…but expect wet weather to come along with it

Increasing swell as we move through the week…but expect wet weather to come along with it

Winter looks like it is going to take at least a couple more shots at the West Coast before we start to move into spring. Right now we have a number of new storms starting to grind toward California, and there are several more that are forecast to form further out in the long-range charts. We can expect these storms to hang in the low/mid-latitudes as they develop close to land, which will put them square in Socal’s W swell window. The new lower latitude positions will also let these storms tap a stream of tropical/sub-tropical moisture (known as the pineapple express), which will likely let them push in some solid (and much needed) rain as well as some hefty W stormswell. We can expect wave heights to slowly build as we move through the middle of the week and then make a big jump as we head into the weekend. Conditions aren’t looking great…but there is a decent chance that we will be able to hunt down some pockets of rideable waves as the storms pass through the region.

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Small but rideable combo mix continues into Monday

Small but rideable combo mix continues into Monday

Monday will continue to see a few rideable, even occasionally playful sets slipping in as we move through the morning. Size and shape will lose a little bit off the top as our current swells weaken slightly…but the decent conditions will keep the wheels from coming completely off during the first part of the day.

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Mix of swells hold into Sunday…still some rideable waves sticking around

Mix of swells hold into Sunday…still some rideable waves sticking around

Sunday will be very similar to Saturday. We will have a small, but rideable mix of swells that blends with mostly clean conditions. While not outstanding there will be a few playful peaks showing at the better exposed breaks, however we will still need to watch out for localized winds and higher tides.

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Overlapping S-SSW swells and background NW energy hold as we move into the weekend

Overlapping S-SSW swells and background NW energy hold as we move into the weekend

Small but rideable waves will continue to show at the better exposed breaks as we move into Saturday. For the most part conditions will be fairly average with the tides and periods of onshore texture slowing down surf shape.

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Small swells cruise in for the weekend…but the NPAC looks like it may come back to life

Small swells cruise in for the weekend…but the NPAC looks like it may come back to life

Look for small, but rideable waves as we move through the weekend. Our WNW-NW swell will drop back to mostly weak background levels while some overlapping pulses of S-SSW swell help to keep some of the better exposed spots rideable for the next few days. Further out the North Pacific long-range charts are showing some definite improvement compared to how they looked earlier this week. While none of this activity has actually formed yet…the forecast models are calling for a few very solid looking storms to form up inside Socal’s swell window, so the potential for bigger surf is out there, potentially arriving before the end of February.

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