Adam Wright
(Monday) 9.6.10

More leftovers for a few days…with new S swell arriving later in the week

Holy weaksauce Batman! Most of this week is going to be weak and textured…the combo of eddy and small S-SW swells will keep the surf in the “marginal” range through Thursday. Fortunately the weather and the swell start to slowly improve on Friday and will continue to get better through the weekend. Long-range is looking A LOT BETTER thanks to a re-energized South Pacific and a series of SSW-SW swells that are heading our way for the middle of September (and if the following storms can live up to the forecast model we would likely see at minimum playful swell holding onto decent size almost to the end of the month).

Short Range (next 4 days)

Check out how the swell, wind, and tides, affects the different Southern California regions…(click on each one to get a sub-regional forecast…and if you click one of the “surf break” links, you can even get spot-specific winds and weather for each break)…Santa Barbara, Ventura, North LA, the South Bay, North Orange County, South Orange County, North San Diego, South San Diego.

Tuesday – (small and funky)
Not much in the water on Tuesday, just a touch of S-SW background swells and some weak local windswell. Most exposed spots will be in the knee high range. The standout S-SW facing breaks and top combo spots will have some inconsistent waist high sets. Winds/Weather: The funky eddy circulation will continue on Tuesday. Look for semi-clean conditions in Ventura/LA and light onshore texture/crumble for the rest of Socal…with NW winds bothering Santa Barbara and S-SSW winds for OC and SD.

Wednesday – (groundhog day anyone?)
Not much change by midweek. Small S-SW swells work with some background NW windswell to generate some knee high surf at the average exposed spots and some waist high sets at the standout combo breaks. Winds/Weather: Revenge of the Eddy continues through midweek…which is ridiculous this is FALL, remember FALL, it isn’t supposed to look like Spring. Look for the cleanest conditions through the South Bay and parts of LA…the rest of the region deals with onshore texture/crumble as SW-SSW winds around 5-8 knots continue to push through.

Thursday – (lame, lame, lame)
No change on Thursday, basically go read Wednesday’s forecast…and that is what to expect on Thursday. Winds/Weather: Yep the weather will be about like Wednesday as well.

Friday – (starting slow but picking up slowly with new S swell)
OMG! OMG! OMG! There is an actual chance in our swell occurring on Friday and even the weather starts to improve. NEW S swell (175-180) starts to arrive on Friday…don’t expect much new size in the early morning since the swell will just be starting to arrive…but the surf will become more consistent and get bigger by later in the day. Overall for the dawn-patrol I would still expect some knee high surf for most spots, but the standouts should be a little more consistent on the waist high sets. By the afternoon I expect the top S facing spots, mostly in Orange County, to see some waist-chest high waves and maybe even a rare bigger wave before sneaking in before sundown. Winds/Weather: Forecasts are calling for the eddy to finally start to break down on Friday…still a touch of the circulation in the morning, but lighter than what we had seen most of the week. Look for W-WNW winds around 10-13 knots for the afternoon.


North Pacific
Still not a lot of change in the North Pacific…it has been fairly quiet in this region for a while (in years past we have sometimes seen a legit WNW-NW swell forming up by now).

The forecast models aren’t calling for any big changes for the next few days…but the extreme end of the charts are starting to show some interesting things…namely some of the more typical tropical energy moving around Japan, that once it moves northerly in latitude has a tendency to “set-off” stronger/colder systems moving into the NPAC. I have a feeling that by next week we are going to see some new signs of life forming in the region.

South Pacific
Ok let’s get to the good stuff…we all know that the next few days the Southern Hemi energy hitting Socal is going to suck. Fortunately there is a lot of activity forming up out the back that is going to have some decent sized S-SW swells heading our way for the second half of September.

Here are some links for these “live” WavewatchIII buoy forecast pages…

Dana Point Buoy
Oceanside Buoy

While we wait for the bigger action there will be a playful S-swell (170-180) that begins filling in on Friday and peaks over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday (Sep 11-12), and even holds some rideable surf into Monday. I don’t think this is going to be a big swell…but the storm was a little closer than most and sat in a good position barely moving for a few days…so there will be some decent surf from it. I am expecting S facing spots to see waist-chest high waves while the standout breaks see some chest-shoulder high sets.

Further Out is where things get interesting…you can see on the swell height chart that a decent patch of sea-heights are going to brew up in the next 2-3 days…likely setting up some 40+ knot winds and some 30’+ seas. This storm is forecast to take a slow tour of the SPAC, while making a pretty good N-NE move right in the middle of the open portion of our swell window.

If that wasn’t enough…there are several systems lining up in the forecast to follow this first storm, and even one makes a little more headway northward, while the bigger anchor low moves to a more southerly spot, which means we would see steady S-SW swell on the heels of the first SSW-SW swell, that would help to keep rideable waves at the exposed spots for at least several days.

Right now I am expecting this new round of SSW-SW swell (190-215) to start hitting with some long-period energy around Wednesday (Sept 15), but with the peak of the swell hitting Thursday-Saturday (Sept 16-18th). At this point I am expecting consistent chest-shoulder high surf at the average SW facing spots and some head high+ sets at the standout SW breaks (mostly in South OC and North SD) for the first part in these series of swells. The activity will shift more to the S (180-210) by the 18th and we should have head high-overhead surf showing at the top spots holding for at least through the 20th. Keep in mind a lot of the super-long-range stuff still has several days from forming…so we will have to wait a few days before it gets locked in…still even the possibility of swell is better than what we have been trudging through.

The high-pressure that is blocking up most of the NE Pacific is also extending winds far enough into the tropics that it is depressing our tropical activity from becoming organized. No new tropical activity is expected for the next few days.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, September 9, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

  • Hobbes

    I haven’t surfed in weeks, but I’ve been doing a lot of fishing. I get back from the Sierra, and lo & behold, a breezy S wind.

    I’ve been surfing for a long time, and I’ve never seen spring conditions in fall. Where are the combo swells & Santana winds?

  • http://Calisecretspot.blogspot.com ConspiracyTheorist

    Polar shift anyone?

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