Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 4.12.12

The forecast is calling for a tough couple of days, but then cleaner conditions with more S and WNW leftovers

Surf Forecast Overview

First off, Adam is taking care of some family business this weekend and roaming the open range, so Austin here taking over the forecast for the weekend.  With that said… a terrible start to the weekend with stormy swell picking up out of the W-NW and plenty of wind to boot.  Onshores stick around through Saturday causing more problems, but then things start to clear up.  Early next week the clouds part, the winds die and leftover swell prevales with consistent S-SSW continuing to bring fun surf to the region.  More S-SSW and W-WNW on the way as well.

Short Range Surf Outlook (next 4 days)

Friday – (nasty windswell mixed with more S-SSW swell getting blown to hell in the afternoon)

Friday is looking even more suspect than it did earlier in the week…the water quality isn’t going to be disgusting, the swell mix will still be jumbled up as the NW windswell builds through the day with shorter 6-8 second swell periods…there could be a brief morning oppertunity with some possible offshores grooming out the stormy bump leftover from Thursday. The swell looks like its going to be a blend of increasing WNW-NW wind/stormswell and holding S-SSW swell (180-195). Most exposed breaks will be in the chest-head high range with some overhead sets. The standout spots will have more consistent overhead sets with even a couple of bigger waves sneaking through later in the day. Winds/Weather: Winds shift to more light/variable to light offshore for the morning, still blowing around 5 knots for most areas with a few gustier spots near the passes and canyons of Ventura and North LA county.  Farther south (South LA, OC and San Diego) it looks onshore early on. The winds shift to more onshore by midday before boosting out of the WNW in the 15-30 knot range by the afternoon.  Rain, wind and possible thunderstorms are going to make you happy you you don’t have a metal stringer in your board.

Saturday – (Stiff onshores with WNW peaking comboed with new and old Southern Hemi.)

For most areas, Saturday is not going to be a surf day. The weather is forecast to start drying up, but stiff onshores are pegged to continue. Santa Barbara to Point Conception could clear up a little bit with the winds shifting more WNW-NW, but everywhere else is going to be seeing some brisk 15-25 mph winds. The swell will be the same mix of WNW energy from the storm, some S-SW swell (180-220) from the South Pacific, and some new 18-second S swell picking up through the day. Average spots will be in the chest-overhead high range with some sets at the better combo spots and more exposed coast seeing size up to a couple feet overhead.  Typically following a storm and with strong onshores surf for most spots will be pretty junky, and the dirty water probably will be a bit of a deterent, but if you have a break with decent combo or WNW exposure and protection from the W winds there is a chance that you will have some rideable surf… Winds/Weather: The weather is looking much drier following the storm, but brisk 15-30 mph W-WNW winds are going to be tearing things to pieces for most areas.

Sunday – (Conditions start to clean up quite a bit as lingering WNW backs off and southern hemi continues to build.)

Sunday looks like it could start out as a surf day, with possible offshore winds for many areas. Swellwise the mix continues to be the blend of WNW-NW energy starting to back off from Saturday and the building S-SW swell (185-195).  This new Southern Hemi swell should be showing with 17-second periods as it continues grow at the exposed south spots.  Combo spots could still see some overhead surf, but most locations will be dropping in size with typical breaks in the knee to shoulder high range. Winds/Weather: Look for light and variable winds to be on tap on morning, even a few pockets of light offshore flow.  The wind models are suggesting the winds could shift more E to NE for much of San Diego, OC and South LA counties. It actually looks like these winds could stick around through a good part of the day for a lot of areas, keeping conditions clean and fun.  light to moderate Onshores could pick up in the afternoon as the sea breeze starts to take over along the exposed west facing coast.  Winds speeds could be 5 to 10 mph during this time.

Monday – (WNW windswell fades more as Southern Hemi peaks)

Monday is looking like a smaller day as the WNW windswell fades even more periods are still looking shorter around 8-10 second which could still offer some fun surf at combo breaks considering there could be some longer 13-15 second swell mixed in, but the main attraction is going to be the peaking S-SSW swell (180-200).  Periods for that guy should be around 16 seconds with 2 to 3 feet of deepwater swell. The most exposed breaks will be in the waist-shoulder high range with some overhead sets. The standout spots will be more consistent and it looks like wind conditions could be pretty nice in the morning, with light to variable E-SE gradients. Winds/Weather: Winds shift to more light/variable to light offshore for the morning, blowing around 0-3 knots for most areas with a few gustier spots near the passes and canyons. The winds shift to more onshore flow by midday, but should be moderate at best with speeds around 5 to 10 knots.  Overall a nice sunny day as high pressure builds.

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

Basically we have to get through this weekends blown out crappiness before the good stuff comes.

We’ve seen a pretty consistent flow of S-SSW pulses over the past couple weeks, and its just going to keep coming as we see a new pulse peaking early next week, followed by another long-period jolt midweek mixed with some longer-period WNW and more windswell.

This weekends storm could be proceeded by a little pulse of 13-15 second WNW early next week which will be adding a nice little combo to the southern hemi in the water, but what looks even more awesome is the system showing up NW of Hawaii tomorrow.  The fetch is low enough that it could deliver a nice shot of W-WNW (275-290) for mid-next week.  Wave heights aren’t looking spectacular or anything, but Santa Barabara and other areas that need the more westerly angle are going to be stoked on some direct west swell.

Size is expected to start building on Tuesday with periods around 16-17 seconds.  There could be a little bit of a windswell mix as well, but its not looking too overpowering.

After that pulse, the storm track changes in the North Pacific, and it basically shuts down.  I guess we’ll just have to rely on the Southern Hemisphere for awhile instead. (fingers crossed)

South Pacific Swell Forecast

As the Southern Ocean continues to wake up from hibernation we should keep seeing these moderate-playful sized swells moving marching up towards Socal over the next week or so.

Here you can see a couple of pulses on the way for next week…mostly chest-shoulder high S-SW energy with a some of the better spots in the region seeing head high to overhead sets.  The first S-SSW (180-200) should start building late Tuesday with periods around 17-19 seconds.  This guy will build to a peak on Thursday before slowly backing off.

Another S-swell is expected to brew over the next couple of days that could send more energy for around April 19-20 that may have some head high sets mixing in at the best exposed breaks.  Most of the fetch is angled at Chile, but thanks to radial dispersion, we could still see some head high to overhead swell showing up at our doorstep next weekend.

Further out the not so ideal storm track stays active, with some pretty decently strong storm systems moving through the Southern Ocean, but the track keeps them directed at Chile, leaving us with just less fetch aimed at us. This will keep rideable if somewhat inconsistent swells headed in our direction for the last week of April.  There’s still a chance that one of them may break loose and turn into a better swell making storm, but its too soon to tell.

Beyond that, again its too soon to tell, but there is a hefty storm brewing south of Australia that could peak as it rounds New Zealand mid-next week.  This one could send us a decent pulse of SSW (200-220) if it can pull itself together.  Based on the current models making some very ambiguous calculations I’m showing moderate to plus size surf showing up around the 28th/29th.  We’ll stay on top of this one for you though and have more details early next week.

The next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, April 16, 2012.

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster

  • austin gendron

    For those of you who got the email and were very confused by the references to Tuesday… you can thank my daftness, and utter disdain towards this weekends surf outlook. I was soo pissed, I wanted to reminisce on earlier this week.

  • JD

    Thanks Austin, next week looks like it’s gonna make up for this one.

  • Mariah Moon

    Hey Austin!

    I want the emails! Sign me up, thanks! Yeah, Tuesday(+ Mon) were GREAT. For the weekend, there’s always potential protected pockets, no? …hopin’ we get lucky!

    • austin gendron

      What’s up Mariah. Go to this link http://surf.solspot.com/forecast-emails and fill out the form. We’ll be sending you the emails before you know it.

      And as far as protected pockets go, I don’t know if anything can protect us from the poo in the lineup, but there might be a couple hidden gems if you know where to look. Best of luck.


  • Shirtless in San Ysidro

    Had one of those hidden gems this morning, for sure. It was pre-storm glory with only 6 guys out. Even tried out a new 5’11″ board, and it rocked, though I could have used something a little longer. All in all, a great morning. Raining like a mother out now!

    • austin gendron

      validation is an amazing confidence booster.

  • frumpsurf

    Wanted to give a shout out to Adam for his article in the Q&A in Transworld. Well written and easy to understand. Nice work!

    • http://surf.solspot.com adam wright

      Thanks Frump!

      I actually have a slightly longer version of that article, that has a couple extra little easter-eggs about swell directions that we are going to put up here on the solspot site before too long. Stoked you dug the info in TWSurf!

  • http://Www.carrozzasurfboards.com Custom surfboards orange county

    Hey solspot thanks for the killer forecasting. Always spot on. I would have to say the most accurate short range forecasting available

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