Small but fun surf through the end of the week

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Austin Gendron
(Thursday) 3.16.17

Short Range Surf Forecast Overview

We’re expecting to see a little more WNW-NW (285-305) arriving Thursday, blending with leftover S.hemi from earlier in the week. That should mean some smaller but fun surf along the exposed coast through the end of the work week.  Wave heights ease again over the weekend.  A new mix of SSW (190-200) and WNW-NW (295-310) are due Sunday as a low pressure system approaches the region.  Another low and more swell due by mid-next week.  Read more for details…..

Get the live Southern California Buoy Forecast graph here - http://solspot.com/buoy/oceanside-offshore/forecast.

Conditions are looking pretty consistent the next few days.  Light and variable in the mornings, with some onshores in the afternoon as the interior heats up.  That onshore breeze should add a little texture to the surface, maybe even getting a little bumpy for more exposed spots.  That trend should continue through the weekend, although mornings could be a little more onshore as the weather starts to shift… more on that in a sec though.

Despite the conditions being a little more onshore Thursday afternoon looks like it will see the peak of the swell mix, bringing some more consistent waist to chest high+ waves to standouts.  Most westerly exposures are expected to be running knee to waist high+ still, and southerly exposures will be on the decline.  Wave heights will start to ease slowly Friday, backing off a little more Saturday and Sunday.  We’re still expecting a few ankle to waist high waves along the exposed coast though.

Late in the weekend a bit of a transition period will commence.  A trough approaching from the west is expected to increase onshore flow and deepen the marine.  The approaching low is also going to drum up a little extra windswell/swell mix out of the WNW-NW (270-290) Sunday into Monday. Wave heights are only expected to be in the knee to chest high range at standouts, but a little additional SSW (190-200) starting to show up could mean a few fun peaky sets at better combo spots through the start of next week.

A second somewhat stronger and more potent system is due on Tuesday. This one has potential to bring some rain to the region, as well as increase S-SW winds ahead of the front. Those winds are expected to generate some southerly windswell to mix with the medium and long-period W-WNW (275-300).

The long-period W-WNW (275-290) is from a system that is currently developing out in the West Pacific near Japan. The storm has a fairly broad fetch, and could generate 30-35 foot seas over the next 12-18 hours, but it doesn’t progress eastward from the looks of it, so it will likely be on the smaller side. It’s still a bit too early to call size, but it probably won’t matter considering the conditions with the passing storm. More updates on that in the next report.

Here’s what to expect on a day-to-day basis this week:

Thursday the 17th knee to waist high+ surf.  Could be picking up a little more at westerly exposures with a few chest high sets at standouts.

Friday the 18th a little bit of swell energy from both hemispheres, with the WNW peaking.  Standouts should be seeing knee to chest high+ surf.  Some standouts could be consistently waist-chest high.

Saturday the 19th  surf starts to back off again, with knee to waist high+ at standouts.

Sunday the 20th easing ankle to waist high waves along the exposed coast.  Watching for an increase in windswell and southern hemi later in the day.  Potential for knee to waist high+ waves at standouts late.

Monday the 21st the mix of windswell/swell from the northern hemisphere and longer-period southern hemi should mean more consistent knee to waist high+ waves through the day.

Tuesday the 22nd  Wave heights are looking a little questionable, likely dependent on the storm we’re watching.  My guess would be knee to chest high for exposed SW coast where windswell will be building and mixing with southern hemi in the water.  Westerly exposures will probably see a decrease to knee to waist high.

Wednesday the 23rd Very storm dependent, but likely knee to chest high for standouts, with less than desirable conditions.

Tropical Overview

No tropical cyclones at this time

Long-Range Surf and Swell Forecast

North Pacific Swell Forecast

It looks like those small reinforcements due on the 23rd/24th are probably going to get a little pick me up thanks to a strengthening system north of Hawaii early-mid next week.

It’s still waaaayyy too early to call, but the extreme long-range GFS models are showing that same system showing up in California late next week, and bringing with it a hefty amount of moisture. That could mean a heavy rain event for Central and possibly even Southern California next Friday Saturday, as well as another round of long-period WNW-NW (280-300) swell energy. I’ll have more details for you early next week.

South Pacific Swell Forecast

The next South Pacific swell is on its way from a system currently generating 30+ foot seas S-SSW (175-195) of the Pitcairn and Easter Islands.

I mentioned earlier this week that Southern California has a better chance of seeing surf from this system, and that remains true. The swell is due to arrive mid-next week (likely on Wednesday) with 16 to 18 second periods. It looks like it could be a somewhat consistent pulse, with wave heights in the knee to chest high range, potentially a little bigger at summer focal spots during the peak.

Same story from earlier this week, just with more confidence. The models are showing a more active storm pattern in the South Pacific over the next several days. It looks like at least some of the fetch will have enough ENE-NE trajectory to send a little energy north too. As of right now we’re looking potential for another pulse of SSW-SW (190-215) to arrive around the 25th/26th. More details next week. Stay tuned.

Next long-range forecast expected for Monday the 20th of March. 

Austin Gendron
Surf Forecaster