Solid NW swell due for the weekend

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Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 10.19.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview


SSW (195-205) should be starting to back off a little more on Friday, but many areas won’t notice thanks to a very large NW (290-310) long-period swell expected to build quickly through the day. Surf is expected to peak Friday, but remain elevated through the weekend and start of next week as reinforcing swells from both hemispheres fill in on Monday. Read more for details.


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

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

Surfwise, southerly facing breaks that are protected from NW swells could see surf easing through the day, with standouts running knee to chest high+. Conditions are looking favorable though. Standout southerly exposures that can pick up the NW swell energy could be running overhead to double overhead+ at magnets. This swell is going to be solid, with periods in the 16 to 17 second range and deepwater heights in the 10 to 15 feet range. For W-NW exposures that’s going to mean wave heights at least overhead to double overhead, with standouts seeing double to triple overhead+ surf. A few special deepwater breaks may be able to generate larger set waves occasionally.

Conditions are looking a little mixed up, with a cold front pushing down the coast bringing rain and breezy onshore winds. There’s a chance that the passing system could generate offshore on its back side as it moves inland, but I’m leaning towards this being less likely, with the models not in great agreement either way. SO expect large surf with onshore Friday and Saturday. Protected breaks are likely to provide the best surf conditions without the XXL size.

The surf is supposed to ease up a little more on Sunday and Monday, but new energy arriving Monday from both the S-SSW (190-200) and WNW-NW (285-305) should help maintain moderate sized surf at southerly breaks, and plus sized surf along the W-NW facing coast. Standouts should still be expecting to see overhead to double overhead waves Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. During that time, we’re expecting a ridge of high pressure to bring some offshore winds through early next week as well.

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

Thursday the 19th surf eases a little. Watching for winds to remain onshore and pick up a bit for textured waist to head high surf at W-NW exposures. Southerly exposures will be cleaner and about the same size.

Friday the 20th NW swell picks up overnight and is expected to generate overhead to double overhead+ surf at the least. Many standouts could be running double to triple overhead+. Conditions look like they will be textured along the W-NW exposed coast.

Saturday the 21st large overhead to double overhead+ surf continues, with bigger sets possible at standouts. Surf settles through the day.

Sunday the 22nd Standout W-NW exposures could be running overhead to double overhead as swell from the NW relaxes.

Monday the 23rd Wave heights are expected to hold in the overhead to double overhead range along the exposed coast as new WNW-NW swell energy fills in. S-SSW exposures can expect new swell from the S-SSW to bring waist to head high+ waves at standouts. Obviously combo breaks are likely to see some bigger sets. Conditions could be offshore for W and southerly facing exposures.

Tuesday the 24th the WNW-NW and S-SSW swell mix will continue to bring overhead to double overhead+ surf to standouts, with southerly exposures seeing waist to head high waves. Conditions look favorable again.

Wednesday the 25th WNW-NW energy settles a little bit, as southerly swell holds. Surf should be small to moderate+ for most of Central California.

Tropical Overview

Nothing in the tropics

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Long range models are showing Typhoon Lan moving up the coast of Japan early next week, merging with cooler arctic air near the Aleutians midweek. The result could be a very strong low generating a large fetch of 50-60 knot winds.

That translates to about 40-45+ foot seas aimed at the West Coast. The angle doesn’t look all that great at the moment, and there’s likely to be some energy loss due to the orientation with the Aleutians. Despite those two factors, we can expect to see another potentially solid round of long-period deepwater swell arriving for next weekend. Still a bit too early to call, but I’ll keep an eye on it and have more for you on Monday.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The long-range models for the Southern Hemisphere are looking a little quieter today.  There will still be some smaller inconsistent background swell arriving from the SW (210-220) mid-next week, but otherwise not a whole lot of noteworthy activity down south.

Next long-range forecast expected for Monday the 23rd. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster