Chunky NW winds and windswell give way to new S-SSW swells

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Adam Wright
(Thursday) 4.27.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

A decent amount of S-SSW swell will push through over the next several days along with a couple of bigger pulses lining up for next week. Unfortunately for the next day or so we are going to see some local wind issues…lots of NW flow pushing down the West Coast…so while the combo NW windswell will be on the rise, conditions look shady until we see things stabilize.

Get the live buoy forecast graph here – http://solspot.com/buoy/oceanside-offshore/forecast.

Friday looks a bit sloppy. The gale force winds blowing through the outer waters will push in some head high+ windswell for the exposed spots, particularly if the breaks have some exposure to the S-SSW energy (190-210) that will be running in the background. Average breaks will hold around chest-shoulder high+ with the better windswell and standout combo spots see bigger overhead sets.

The winds are forecast to pull around to the E-ENE on Saturday, but the morning’s conditions will depend a lot on when the wind switch occurs and how strong the wind was blowing (from any direction). Swellwise Saturday will have a building S-SSW swell (180-220) filling in through the background while the majority of the WNW-NW windswell starts to drop off…overall wave heights will back down but we should see quality start to improve in terms of the shape and the conditions.

Sunday looks to be a fun surf day. The building S-SSW swell (180-220) will see reinforcing pulses of Southern Hemi energy along with some medium-period WNW-NW swell (285-300) still leaking out of the NPAC storm track. Wave heights will be in the chest-head high range with the standout combo spots and best summer S facing beaches seeing inconsistent overhead sets, particularly by the afternoon. Conditions look good at this point too…winds are generally light for most areas with a touch of offshore texture near passes and canyons.

Get more details on the Short Range Conditions in the Surf Region Forecasts:

Santa Barbara Ventura North LA County The South Bay
North Orange County South Orange County North San Diego South San Diego

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

The NPAC continues to slowly shift into the Spring/Summer shutdown pattern. You can see on the charts that the storm track is looking pretty sparse…

There is still a little activity over by Japan and the Western Aleutians but it isn’t all that intense and the storm fronts fall apart before they even make it to the International Date Line. The most interesting region is actually the waters just off the West Coast. You can see some agitation in the local seas, which is usually a strong sign that our coastal NW winds are setting up to blow hard (literally and figuratively).

It takes a few days for the more intense NW winds to back down, but at least they will be producing some rideable NW windswell for the exposed spots. That windswell, paired up with building S-SSW swell, will do a decent job producing waves, but we will need to keep an eye on our swell windows as well as conditions.

Extreme long-range looks mellow, hmmm…almost like we are heading to summer. (Uh…ok where did I put the East Pacific Tropics?)

South Pacific Swell Forecast

We have a couple of nice S-SSW swells (180-220) currently heading our way and the long-range charts are showing a consistent stream of modest storm activity in the SPAC that has the potential to keep the Southern Hemi energy pushing towards Socal for at least several days after the main swells peak.

The swells in the water will be arriving slowly through the day on Saturday with the peak of the first pulse hitting Sunday into Monday. Look for this particularly swell to stick around through midweek before it drops off the radar.

The second set of swells, (which is actually 2 overlapping shots of S-SSW energy as well as the leftovers from the weekend), will arrive fast on around May 2 and will eventually peak around May 3-5.

This mix is showing about 2’ of deepwater energy in the computer models…in fact a few of the projections look more like 2-3’ but after looking at the ASCAT satellite winds I think they might be overcalling it. At minimum we need to keep in mind that the Southern Hemi energy will run into consistency issues (all long-period swells have ‘em), but these may be aggravated by some of the swells energy passing through the South Pacific Islands.

So while the winds weren’t outstanding, the storm’s duration is forecast to try and make up the ground that it lost. The charts are showing some relatively steady fetch of winds blowing through the key swell making areas in the SPAC…and they even push NE, which gives the wind a little more time to blow on the swell it already produced…essentially giving it a little kicker (a little English…so to speak)…which is a great way for the storm to add longevity.

Soooo, while our S-SSW swells peak early next week, the long-range is showing activity pick back up in about 5-7 days. Again it isn’t super impressive in terms of raw storm power, but it is in the right spot and this time of year can still pull together a strong storm…so we may get to change up the projections as the system actually starts to develop.

The next Long-range forecast will be posted on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster