Easing SSW, tropical swell, and wind swell mix

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Austin Gendron
(Monday) 8.21.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

SSW (190-205) that peaked over the weekend will ease through the first half of the week.  We’re expecting some weak tropical energy from Hurricane Kenneth to show up Wednesday/Thursday.  Potential for NW wind swell/swell mix to increase through the end of the work week before easing again over the weekend.  More Southern Hemisphere due at the end of the month.

To view the details of your local region click on your “Central California Surf Region”

San Francisco | San Mateo | Santa Cruz | Monterey | SLO County

SSW (190-205) eases through the first half of the week. For most standouts we’re expecting wave heights to continue running knee to chest high, but it is possible for some slightly bigger sets today before consistency and size ultimately back off.

Wednesday and Thursday we’re expecting a little bit of SSW (190-200) from Hurricane Kenneth, which is currently a little more than 1000 miles SW of Pt. Conception. I’ll recap this in the Tropical discussion, but as far as surf is concerned Kenneth doesn’t look like its going to be a big producer. Central California has a better chance of picking up 2-3 feet of deepwater energy during the peak Wednesday/Thursday, but its still going to be at 10 to 11 second intervals, so wave heights aren’t expected to exceed waist to chest high at standouts. Either way should at least continue the trend of surfable waves through the second half of the week.

W-NW exposures are picking up a little bit of NW (300-310) right now. Wave heights are running knee to chest high. Winds are light in the AM but expected to increase in the afternoons some. Wave heights are expected to ease through midweek as well. Models are suggesting an increase in NW wind swell/swell mix again Thursday/Friday, potentially bringing waist to head high+ surf to standouts through the end of the work week, settling through the weekend.

Here’s what to expect on a day-to-day basis this week:

Monday the 21st small southerly swell leftovers continue to bring knee to chest high+ waves to standouts, wind swell looks like it will hold in the knee to chest high range, easing later in the day.

Tuesday the 22nd knee to waist high+ southerly swell (bigger sets possible at magnets) and a mix of easing wind swell.

Wednesday the 23rd wind swell still backing off as southerly winds take over along the coast. Tropical swell fills in and could mean continued knee to chest high waves at standouts.

Thursday the 24th SSW tropical swell continues to bring knee to chest high waves at standout southerly exposures. We’re expecting increasing NW wind swell, potentially building into the waist to head high range late in the day.

Friday the 25th Standout W-NW exposures could be running waist to head high+. Standout southerly exposures likely to be running knee to waist high as tropical energy fades.

Saturday the 26th wind swell starts to ease into the knee to chest high+ range. Small southerly swell mix.

Sunday the 27th Wind swell backs off more. New S (180-190) starts to fill in.

Tropical Overview

Hurricane Kenneth sort of came out of nowhere this weekend reminding us that the tropics are very unpredictable. The storm has been on a westerly track the past day or so, but is about to veer to the north as it maxes out as a CAT 3 Hurricane. The swell is pretty far west for sending swell to California unfortunately. It’s likely that Central California will see some small knee to chest high waves midweek, and Socal could be in the knee to waist high+ range, but periods are looking pretty short and it won’t be all that exciting. Nonetheless a little something to keep some small surf in the water through the second half of the week. The swell is going to shift more SW and eventually W through the start of the weekend.

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Keeping an eye on the long-range forecast models, upper level patterns are starting to shift a little bit.  No notable swell makers yet, but worth keeping an eye on things.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

We’ve got a couple smaller southern hemisphere systems on the way for the weekend and early next week, starting off with some SSW (195-205) on Saturday, followed by an inconsistent S (180-190) on Sunday. The mix of energy could bring some knee to chest high surf to standouts early next week….

Beyond that, I don’t even have an image for you because the southern ocean is looking pretty dormant for the time being. There is some activity off the coast of Chile, but at most it looks like it will send small inconsistent background swell from the S-SSE for the last couple days of the month… otherwise at this point there’s a giant gaping hole in the swell track that just happens to sit in our swell window.

Next long-range forecast expected for Thursday the 24th of August. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster