Adam Wright
(Thursday) 9.2.10

Please save us from the small surf!

Weak leftover Southern Hemi swell and some steeply angled NW windswell will try and keep us in the water this weekend…but I have to be honest…it may be a bit of a struggle at some of the more sheltered areas. More storm activity is finally forming out the back…with a chance for some tropical activity later this week and better looking SPAC storm finally pulling together next week (which means we won’t see the swell till after the middle of the month…man it sucks to type that).

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.

Friday – (Might have to break out the big board)
The mix of swell finally runs out of energy…oh it doesn’t go completely flat…but our surf will be mostly leftovers and severely shadowed SW swells (180-220) and steep NW windswell (295-300) that won’t do much for us. Average spots can expect ankle-knee high surf while the standout breaks see some waist high+ sets. Expect long waits between the sets…and the swampthing to kill it off as the tide gets a bit too high. Winds/Weather: Winds look clean for the morning…mostly light/variable to light/offshore early…then building onshore flow by the afternoon. Expect W winds 10-12 hitting by midafternoon.

Saturday – (someone put more quarters into the wave-machine)
We will have a mix of weak, and fading, S-SW swells (180-220) as well as some local windswell on Saturday. Most spots will stay small…with surf in the knee high range and below. The top S facing spots see some waist high sets…maybe waist high+ if the tides and the windswell hit the spot just right. Overall it is looking pretty weak. Winds/Weather: Winds remain light through the morning…either variable and glassy or light offshore for most areas. Look for building onshore winds around midday and then W winds around 10-15 knots for the afternoon

Sunday – (seriously this needs to be fixed)
Still pretty weaksauce on Sunday…just background S and SW swells with a touch of building local NW windswell (295+) out the back as winds in the outer waters start to spin up in the afternoon. Wave heights will be ankle-knee high at most of the average S facing breaks and the better combo spots. The standouts will still struggle to get waist high sets to sneak through. Winds/Weather: Light and variable winds on tap for the morning with some overcast skies and a couple of small pockets of texture at the more wind sensitive spots. Look for NW winds 10-15 knots to develop through the afternoon.

Monday – (Break out the roller blades!)
Our surf stays small on Monday as we mush on through another day of weak S-SW leftovers and background swells. The NW windswell comes up a touch more, but most of it will be too steep to make it into Socal…still it will be worth at least checking a couple of the better combo areas…maybe they will be able to mix up the blend of swell just right. Winds/Weather: Winds look clean for the morning…mostly light/variable to light/offshore early…then building onshore flow by the afternoon. Expect W winds 10-12 hitting by midafternoon.


North Pacific
High pressure is still kicking the North Pacific’s ass…and we are still not getting any swell from this side of the Pacific.

No new storm activity (at least frontal storm activity) expected for the next several days. Sometimes waiting for Fall sucks.

South Pacific
Not much heading our way from the SPAC for the next several days…it never went completely quiet down in the southern ocean…but we are basically just going to see swells from the fringes of storms that pushed through the region. I am expecting, and hopefully I am being a little pessimistic, that these little pulses of S and SW energy (180-220 from all the different little pockets) will keep us in knee high surf at the average spots and possibly some bigger waist high+ sets at the standouts. Overall it is probably going to be a good idea to keep the longboard handy for most of the weekend and early next week.

Further out the SPAC is finally getting its poop together and I am seeing a couple of storms spinning swell production back up. Unfortunately anything that is supposed to happen in about 4 days on the forecast charts won’t actually reach us for at least a week afterwards…so we could be looking at minimum 10-11 days before the swell actually hits here. That my friends, is why we either need to take over wild rivers wave tank or cross our fingers something will form up in the tropics before we all go crazy. So if you are looking at the swell models…you can see that a general “peppiness” starts to develop in about 4-5 days…

And that by about 7 days there will be a fairly significant looking storm developing…

If this actually lives up to forecasts we would be seeing a little increase of S swell (175-180) around the 10-11th and then a better SSW-SW swell (190-220) that would arrive around the 16-18th. Keep in mind that there is a lot that has to happen between now and then…cross your fingers that these hold together.

We have a nicely organizing tropical thunderstorm just off the coast of Mainland Mexico…it hasn’t quite reached tropical depression strength…but it could get there sometime this evening.

The NRL (Naval Research Lab) has been tracking it for a few days as well…

You can even keep an eye on the region with the GOES satellite images…at this link below.


the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, September 6, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster


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  • hellwithit

    that’s it I’m moving

  • jwit

    worst summer ever!! I love how surfline had a feature about the summer of 1997. It made me feel even worse :(

  • SC Fool

    I hear that there are some great beaches in Afghanistan. Maybe you guys should move there. Seriously though, do you guys live in Southern California for the great surf? If you do then maybe you should take a look at a map sometime. You will notice that we are in a very protected area of coastline. Moving is actually a really good idea if you are serious about surfing. As for me, I could care less, I just want to look cool with my Al Merrick and black rubber suit.

  • Jeff

    Took the whole week off fishing in Alaska, there’s still plenty of weather up here but not narly winter stuff

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