Funky spring weather continues while windswell and small S-SW swells generate some waves

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Adam Wright
(Monday) 4.6.15

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

For the next week we are going to see a blend of WNW-NW windswells (285-300 but with most of the energy loaded up in the 290+ swell directions) and some smaller but longer-period S-SW swells (180-220) that will creep up from the Southern Hemi. The Southern Hemi swells do a decent job overlapping, which means we may get a little lift in size on the days where they are changing out, but honestly it will likely just be a touch more consistent and punchy on those days rather than any significant size increase.

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

Sizewise we can expect the average spots to hang in the knee-waist high range with some waist-chest high+ sets hitting on the better days. The standout S-SW facing spots and excellent combo breaks will hang in the knee-chest high range with some shoulder high sets mixing in on the days with good tides and clean conditions.

Weather will be all over the place the next few days…we will have a couple of cold fronts moving through the region, the first hitting on Tuesday/Wednesday and then again Friday/Saturday. Longer-range weather even shows the potential for another front early next week. At this point these fronts will mostly increase the winds in the outer waters, however a few of the stronger ones may push over the coast, bringing a little rain while driving in stronger onshore flow. We may have pockets where the winds eddy around headlands or points on the winder days, but a lot will depend on the arrival times and intensity of the storms, so we will very likely have to play it by ear day-to-day until this springy pattern starts to mellow out.

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 shift more and more into a spring pattern. We have high-pressure holding strong over much of the mid-latitudes in the Gulf of Alaska with just enough of a gap running down the West Coast that a few cold fronts are going to slip down into Socal over the next week+.

You can see the next little cold front setting up for Tuesday/Wednesday moving into position on the chart above…and you can even see the bigger storm is sort of sloughed off of, moving up into Canada and the Pacific NW. We will get a small boost in windswell from this storm and another similar one following it on and off over the next week. These fronts will also bring some weather, mostly onshore winds but potentially some rain as well. Not expecting a ton of rideable waves from this storm but it will have some energy crossing up the SSW-SW swells in the water.

The pattern repeats itself again as we moving into the weekend with another cold front slipping down the coast. This one is forecast to have some moisture in it as well…but I think a lot will depend on how things start to shift once the first couple of fronts moving through.

Long-range charts, pretty much when you get into the less stable 144+ hour range, show the storm track becoming a little more active early next week. It isn’t worth breaking down these storms at this point…since the odds are extremely good that newer updates will completely change what we are looking at today. Still if these started to actually push a little lower in latitude (and get closer to the West Coast) we could be looking at a general increase in WNW energy as we get closer to the middle of the month.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The SPAC has been doing ok producing swells over the last few weeks, but it looks like we are slipping into a bit of a downturn…at least in the portions of the SPAC in our swell window. We do have one decent SSW-SW swell (190-220) that will be arriving later this week…

We will start to see some of this new S-SW energy (180-220) moving in as early as April 7-8, but these initial pulses will be from some weaker systems that moved through right before the main storm. I expect our S-SW facing spots to start to get a little more consistent and energetic as the precursor swells arrive…however the bigger SSW pulse (190-210) will hit closer to April 11-12. Now that the charts have updated I am going to revise the sizes down…with the average spots likely staying around knee-chest high and the standouts seeing inconsistent shoulder high sets.

Not much on tap after the April 11-13 SSW-SW swell…we will have some smaller, inconsistent pulses from zonally moving storms…but nothing that particularly stands out. I expect some sort of smallish rideable waves continuing through the middle of the month…again nothing exciting but not a total flat spell either.

The biggest area to watch, at least at the moment is the area underneath Australia and near New Zealand. There are some pretty nasty storms clearing the region under Oz, and if they don’t totally burn off all of their energy we may see some of it get lined up for Socal once it finally moves into the SPAC proper.

The biggest spike in size hits in about 5-6 days…again almost all of this energy is shadowed by New Zealand…and the storm itself is forecast to shoot through the Tasman Sea and head up in-between the Oz/NZ gap. Most of the swell will impact those areas with a nice dose heading toward the nearby exposed islands. What we are watching for is how much energy will make it out of the Tasman Sea and into the South Pacific.

The real long-range charts show that the storm will sort of break in half as it mashes into Middle Earth (and all those stupid hobbits) with a nice intense patch heading into the mid-upper latitudes. Hopefully it will keep enough organization and strength that it can hold together for a few more days to reach the open part of our swell window. Still a bit early to tell, but at least the potential is there.

The next Long-range forecast will be posted on Thursday, April 9, 2015.

Adam Wright
Surf Forecaster

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