Adam Wright
(Thursday) 10.28.10

Some swell, some storminess, and bigger swell out the back.

The surf will be a bit smaller, but conditions will hold together as we move through Friday. New NW swell will be filling in late in the day. Another storm front rolls through on Saturday driving up the windswell…but it clears out fast and we see some nicer weather and fading swell as we head into Sunday/Monday. A large NPAC storm may form up next week.

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 – (Slow start but new WNW-NW energy showing by the afternoon)
Friday will start slow with mostly leftover WNW-NW and fading S-SW swell. Average breaks will be in the knee high range with some waist-chest high sets at the standouts. New WNW-NW swell (285-300) will start pushing in throughout the day. Look for the better WNW-NW facing spots, mostly in Ventura and the South Bay, to see some chest-shoulder high+ surf by the late afternoon. San Diego will be gaining size by the evening but will see most of the energy arrive after sunset and overnight into Saturday. Winds/Weather: Early winds look ok…mostly light and variable…then they switch around to the South and hold in the 7-10+ knot range. Expect some increasing cloudiness late in the day…and semi-stormier conditions hitting later than night.

Saturday – (Storm front pushes through, rain and wind jumble up the swell)
Saturday isn’t forecast to be much of a surf day. S-WSW winds and some rain showers are going to be scattered throughout the region and manage to stick around throughout the day. Look for a mix of WNW-NW energy (285-300), some background S-SW leftovers, and building local windswell. While shape won’t be all that good there are a few pockets that can handle the S winds. Most of those breaks are going to average in the waist-chest high range while the standout spots, mostly in San Diego, will have some shoulder-head high sets…maybe even a few bigger ones on the lower tides. Overall don’t expect good shape/conditions but there is always a chance for a pocket or two to form. Winds/Weather: Mostly S-SSW winds to move in early…starting around 3-5 knots but with some stronger gusts showing 10-14 knots by midmorning and on into the afternoon. Look for cloudy drizzly skies and some patchy rain showers.

Sunday – (Cleaner conditions but smaller surf as the mix fades out)
The mix of WNW-NW energy and S-SW leftovers will fade a bit on Sunday, particularly the NW windswell that was doing most of the work in the WNW-NW blend. Expect exposed spots to hold around waist high with some rare bigger sets at the breaks with more combo exposure. Standout NW facing breaks and the best combo spots will be waist-chest high with some inconsistent shoulder high waves mixing in at times. Winds/Weather: Saturday’s storm front should have pushed on through by Sunday and as it does N winds are forecast to set up in its wake. Nothing super strong…but enough to get the meter up to about 5-8 knots in some areas and possibly close to 10+ knots at the really wind prone spots. This isn’t a perfect direction but it does look sort of NNE in a couple of the models…if that is the case then conditions should be pretty clean for the morning. W-WNW winds 10-15 knots will develop in the afternoon.

Monday – (Swell mix holds while conditions improve.)
Not much change in the swell on Monday…still a mix of WNW-NW windswell and small S-SW background energy. The average breaks will be in the knee high range with some occasional waist high sets. The standout combo spots will be more around waist-chest high on the sets…and a bit gutless thanks to the lack of energy behind the swells. Winds/Weather: Early winds look ok…mostly light and variable with a bit of onshore tint to the overall flow. Look for W-WSW winds to build in around midday and eventually top out around 12-18 knots by the late afternoon.


North Pacific
Later this week another storm is supposed to push quickly through the Gulf of Alaska and hit the Pacific NW…setting up some WNW-NW fetch for Socal down near the bottom of the storm. Unfortunately the swell doesn’t get a lot of wind in the fetch and the result will be a semi-storm swell with shorter periods and likely another round of rain and wind to go along with it. This swell would start to arrive in Santa Barbara and Ventura later on Friday and then pushing into the spots further south later in evening.

The models are showing a very strong storm system brewing up in the Gulf of Alaska…that has the potential to send a pretty good sized swell toward the West Coast as well as Hawaii. At this point…things are looking a bit better in the storms movement and strength…so I think we are going to be seeing a larger swell than I was originally anticipating.

If the storm gets really going…and the models are calling for nearly 40’+ seas…then this thing is going to blast a large W-WNW swell (nearly 20’ of deepwater swell) at Northern and Central California…with a smaller, but still robust version hitting Socal out of the WNW-NW (285-300). Right now this one looks good for shoulder-head high surf at the better exposed winter breaks…and overhead sets at the standouts spots…possibly bigger if things really pull together. This swell would start showing long-period energy on Nov 2 and then peaking on Nov 3-4th. We still have about 72 hours before this storm actually develops…but it is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

South Pacific
The SPAC isn’t totally shut down right now either…but it is a lot quieter than what we had a few months ago. We have a couple of ok-sized pulses heading our way for this week that will keep the summer spots in playful sized surf. Basically a shoulder high S-SW mix that peaked on Tuesday and then slowly fades through the end of the week…followed by a small reinforcement of S swell on Friday .

Further out there is still some activity in the forecast charts…there is a decent looking storm forming in about 4-5 days that will push some more SSW swell our way for around the 8-9th of November. This would probably be a better swell…but as you can see on the chart…as you get near the end of the SPAC winter there is a pretty good sheet ice shelf around Antarctica, which basically acts as land, and shortens up the fetch that storms can produce in our swell window. At this point…if the storm forms this way…I would expect some chest-shoulder high surf at the Socal top spots from this one.

This region is dead to me.

Make sure to check out our Movember team page…where you can join, donate, or just enjoy the mustache rides.

the Next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, November 1, 2010.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

  • http://www.debtchallenge.com pragmatist

    I’m looking forward to the swell activity Adam. Thanks again for the great reporting and new site.

  • http://www.solspot.com Adam – Solspot Forecaster

    No worries man…the gang and I really appreciate the support!

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