WNW-NW eases into next week. S.hemi builds for the weekend

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Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 5.18.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

High pressure builds towards the coast through the end of the week, relaxing the NW’erly gradient and essentially the mix of NW swell currently in the water.  New southern hemi energy should start arriving Thursday, with more overlapping S-SSW (185-205) energy piling up to a noticeable peak Sunday and Monday of the upcoming week.  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

WNW-NW (290-310) wind swell/swell mix continues to bring waist high to head+ surf to the exposed W-NW beaches. The trend is going to be mostly downward though over the next few days. The upper level pattern is going to bring high pressure to the coast, which will relax the breezy NW winds that have been generating all this swell. We’re still expecting to receive some WNW-NW energy through the weekend, but winds are going to become lighter onshore, and possibly even shift offshore. That means wave heights could back off into the knee to chest high range by Sunday, and become even smaller early to mid-next week.

Despite easing wind swell we’re still expecting there to be surf in the region. New SSW (195-205) should be filling in Thursday. A mostly small pulse that will peak Friday, helping generate some knee to waist high waves for the exposed coast. A second larger swell starts to fill in Saturday with longer periods. It as slightly more southerly angle (185-195) on it. and could build to a 2+ foot peak Sunday/Monday. Standouts are expected to see wave heights build into the knee to chest high range possibly head high at standouts and magnets. The peak will hold through Monday before easing into the middle of next week.

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

Thursday the 18h waist to head high+ surf along the W-NW exposed coast. Winds are expected to remain onshore but ease. Southern hemi starts to build, wave heights likely to be knee to waist high at standout southerly exposures.

Friday the 19th, winds are expected to become lighter. windswell eases into the waist to chest high+ range. S.hemi energy should be running knee to waist high+.

Saturday the 20th windswell mix ease more as new long period southern hemi fills in. Standout exposures (to both directions) should be running knee to chest high.

Sunday the 21st Offshore winds possible, new S-SSW (190-200) builds in late and starts to peak. Standouts could be running waist to chest high+.

Monday the 22nd Southern hemi standouts potentially seeing waist to chest high+ surf.

Tuesday the 23rd surf eases into knee to waist high range at standouts.

Wednesday the 24th wave heights expected to continue backing off. Potential for some new WNW energy to start filling in.

Tropical Overview

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Nothing really new to report. Still watching that weak system working its way north of Hawaii over the weekend.

Current projections are for it to generate 25 to 35 knot winds and 15 to 20 foot seas, but nothing overly impressive. It looks like it will probably be strong enough to generate a few feet of medium period energy in Central California mid-late next week. SoCal will be on the minimal side without enough swell energy to be noticeable. Stay tuned for updates.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

Looking out a ways, we’ve got more southern hemi on the radar for around the 28th/29th.

It’s a tight fit, but the it’s looking like there’s a chance that this powerful low off the coast of New Zealand could thread the small needle window between New Zealand and Tahiti to send some SW (210-230) swell energy for the end of the month. The fetch could generate 30+ foot seas, but it is a bit far away at roughly over 5k miles. That’s going to mean a smaller to moderate sized swell, but it should still have a little punch for SW exposures. More details next week.

Next long-range forecast expected for Monday the 22nd of May. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster